The Return of the ADHD Review

I came across a podcast I just had to listen to because it was about the relationship between exercise and the brain, exercise as treatment for ADHD.  I have had an ongoing series in this blog about wellness and the struggle to maintain fitness and I try to throw in there from time to time how my mental health is affected.

Justine Ruotolo talks with Dr John Ratey about exercise and how it improves the Neuroplasticity  of our minds.  Justine and Dr. Ratey talk about rigorous exercise of the body as well as meditation (exercise of the mind) and how our brain is similar to a muscle.  Activities such as dance, martial arts, gymnastics, soccer… exercise that requires constant change of position, all help with brain health.  Dr. Ratey starts by talking about a patient he had in 1981 who had been a marathon runner.  The runner suffered an injury and subsequent depression, and began exhibiting signs of ADD.  His whole life he had essentially been self medicating with exercise.  They also talk about exercise to manage behavior in children by activating their brains instead of putting them on time out.  Exercise is great for all ages and for many disorders or dysfunctions, exercise could help with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

 

Treating with exercise is what I want to do. Exercise increases receptors of dopamine and norepinephrine, and is good for all of us, not just for treating mental of physical illness but for applying our brain and body the way they are designed to be used.  Too easily we get sucked into other dopamine triggers like video games, alcohol, etc., which can damage our brains instead of strengthen them.  Exercise is great for treating aggression, depression, self discipline, self respect, as well as developing our neuroplasticity.

If you want to listen to the podcast, you can find it here.  For more about Justine Ruotolo, click here.

Recommended reading related to this topic:

Spark

 

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Wellness Wagon: Week… 23.5?

This week’s theme is all about the New Years Resolution.

but first…

All those people out there who say things like “I lost 600 pounds in a week!  If I can do it, you can too!”  It’s no wonder this process is so depressing for so many people.  The real world isn’t that simple.

It’s been two and a half weeks since my last post because I have been feeling pretty worthless.  I can’t even say that nothing I’m trying is working.  just about everything I try works, when I keep trying.  So my first New Year’s resolution is to keep trying.  Boom.  Done.  Res 1 established.

 

But wait, there’s more!  I imagine this will get people thinking about creating a resolution of their own, around getting healthy or healthier.  I challenge you to take it one step further.  I am going to start pursuing my health resolution tomorrow.

That’s right.  Tomorrow.

 

I challenge you to set your New Year’s Health Resolution NOW.

Then, Start it right away.  Do not let up until Jan 1.  Then we will be well under way.  Keep a journal or a tally. It’s been 1 day, 2 days, 3 days since I let Depression keep me from exercising.  It’s been 6 weeks since I downed a bag of Cheetos.

I am starting tomorrow.  Start with me.  Comment below when you start.  Regardless of when you read this, start tomorrow. Comment weekly, monthly. Comment here, comment on my Facebook page when I share blog posts.  The more comments I see, the more I’ll be motivated, and the more I can motivate you.  Let’s do this together.  I’m going to feel like crap when I roll out of bed tomorrow morning, but I will not let that stop me.

Start your 2017 goals now.

 

ADHD Review – June Teaser

As promised, I have begun listening to podcasts and reading blogs, and will be putting up some kind of review or commentary in June.  I plan on providing some kind of monthly commentary on a book or one of several podcasts and blogs I will be catching up on this summer.  I really want to learn more about ADHD, but it will not be 100% technical.  Many of my favorite writers and speakers with ADHD don’t necessarily mention ADHD in everything they do. Continue reading

Perspective

(Winter, 2014-15)

 

The Run version 1.0

Awake at 5:30 am.  Do I toss and turn for another hour or so like I did yesterday?  Nah, The Dr. says I need to exercise more, might as well get up and go for a run.  It’s chilly outside, but not so bad that I’ll need a jacket.  Throw on a sleeveless shirt under my black running shirt, my shorts, some good socks, shoes, and I’m out the door.  I have a loop around my half of the neighborhood (the hood is like a sort of sick figure eight) which is just over 1 mi.  Once around ought to do it.

Right away I remember why spring runs are so exhilarating.  The wind.  after the first curve in my somewhat circley square-ish course, the wind hits me.  It’s not a cold winter wind, the kind that makes breathing impossible and freezes your snot to your face. Continue reading

Inspiration

 

Inspiration.

I realize that ADHD does not affect us all the same way.  Some people who read this face far more challenges than I do.  And some less.  Some of you may read my posts and think “This guy’s nuts.” That may or may not be true. Yet others may read this and think, “Man, I wish I had his problems.”

I try to write about the good and the bad that happens in my life.  One thing that remains consistent is why.  I write because there are those who are worse off who can’t express their needs and frustrations.  I write to provide perspective to those who might not otherwise understand.  For those of you who struggle with OCD, Depression, Autism, and other spectrums, disorders, personalities, and/or handicaps: I love you all.  I write for you.  You are my heroes.  My inspiration.  I am able to joke about my ADHD, and do so gladly.  However, don’t think for a minute that I don’t take it seriously at the same time.  If my life is ever bad, there’s someone out there who has it ten times worse. I grew up as a runner, with a runner as a father.  When I would feel a little bleh about things, he’d notice.  We’d be driving and he’d see a homeless person walking down the street with Cerebral Palsy or some similar affliction (This specific example actually happened) and he point them out to me.  He’d say “Son, that’s why we run.  We do it for the people who can’t.”  Thus he taught me that there are always people worse off, fighting a harder battle.  So for those with similar issues to mine, and those without, remember this the next time you need motivation, inspiration, or if you just need to know you’re worth it.  Someone else has it worse, and they are still living day to day like it matters.  Because it does.  Regardless of who you are, or what your superpower is, you matter.  Do not get down on yourself for the cards you’re dealt.  Find something you can do, and do it for those who can’t.  And for those who can’t describe their ADHD, can’t deal with their ADHD child, know that I gladly represent you and recognize your battle, which in and of itself makes you a stronger person than I. To the rest of you, please appreciate the situation of others and remember you may not know what they go through.  Rather than being judgy, be inspired.

Read the original HERE.

Diet: What’s in a Word?

Diet: What’s in a word?

A pet peeve for many of us.  What does Semantics even mean?  According to Dictionary.com:

the meaning, or an interpretation of the meaning, of a word, sign, sentence, etc.: Let’s not argue about semantics.

No, Dictionary.com, let’s argue about it…  I was reading a friend’s status online regarding a change in diet.  Another person commented that diets don’t work, it has to be a lifestyle change; completely discrediting my friend’s efforts.

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WTF, right?

Let’s think about this:

Humans are (for the most part) omnivorous; our diet consists of a variety of plants and animals.

People who are overweight go on diets to lose weight, but when the diet is over, the weight comes back (more on this in a moment).

Bear with me, now, I’m getting to the meat of it all.  No need to go nuts.  The fruit of the matter is this: Diet refers to what we eat.  We have a diet our entire lives, for the purpose of staying alive. Diets DO WORK, otherwise we’d all be dead.

Now we are at the main course of my concern: I went to the Dr. a week or so ago and he said it’s time to look into a low carb, high protein lifestyle.  He then says “Notice, I said lifestyle, not diet.”  Oh Hell, it’s spreading…

I kept my mouth shut because I really like my Dr.  Seriously, though, I was unnerved.  A diet lasts as long as you stick to it, and thus is not necessarily a temporary thing.  Diets work; quitting a successful diet when the weight is off doesn’t.  A Lifestyle also changes, possibly with the tide for some people, and therefore is not any better or worse than a diet.  These days, people’s lifestyles change with whatever fad is popular that week.

You with me so far, because now it’s time for the bacon…

What’s the common denominator, regardless of the word you use, that determines (mostly) the success of your efforts?  MaintainMaintain a healthy lifestyle/diet.

Now I could go into a cornucopia of advice on how to eat right, live well, etc.  I would be an absolute hypocrite.  I know everything I need to get healthy.  Most of us do.  It is continuous effort that will make or break most of us.

So when someone says they need to change their diet, know they are talking about their lifestyle.  When someone says it’s time for a lifestyle change, know they also could be changing their diet (or exercising more, or quitting a bad habit).  Regardless, KNOW that the point is an effort to be well, and support that effort.  If you want to advise to maintain that effort, by all means, do so, within the means of their efforts (certain things are meant to be temporary, and we’re not physicians).  By no means do any of us have the authority in someone’s life to just come out and say their efforts will not work, simply because of the words they use.  You are thus missing the entire point and should be kicked in the nuts.

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Read the original HERE.