View Full Version : Exercise is my drug


Jacksper
05-21-15, 04:53 AM
I had an injury for 8 months, so I couldn't exercise that much... only swimming and cycling.

Well, exercise is my #1 ADD medicine, especially running, so it sucked. Fortunately I have found the issue (flat feet) and I have the solution as well (insoles). Now I can run again, and run about 20k per week, in addition to 2 swimming sessions and 1 long bike ride. I'm just starting.

I like the challenge. I feel like I need that in my life. As you may have guessed I train for triathlons. I get easily bored with things, so doing 3 sports in 1 is ideal for me. There is a lot of variation and SO much to learn! Competitions are lovely as well. One of my goals of this year is to end one competition in the top 10% and I think I will succeed (my last one, which I did without training I finished in the top 30%). I consider myself lucky to be able to do this.

I just need such challenges in order to feel alive. So I have accepted this, I will continue to push myself. I hope to do an Ironman somewhere this year, and that's just the start. They say that when you go for thrills you need bigger and bigger ones. Like a drug addict. Well that's too bad then, but my brain is like this.

Of course I'll use that brain to every now and then to think and stuff. I don't like to get really addicted to this.

But the main reason that I like exercise is that it helps me to get my brain under control - which is essential to be able to manage my life well. I get rid of my stress, I can concentrate much better and I have more willpower. And all of that for doing something I enjoy! :)

Do you feel the same about exercising and what do you do?

Pilgrim
05-21-15, 08:04 AM
I dont like admitting this but I use to use the meds to get by, now it's exercise.

To survive when I was younger, I used exercise.

Tmoney
05-21-15, 08:07 AM
Exercise is one of the main ingredients in the recipe for battling AD(H)D. I do whatever I can. If I can go to the gym I always make sure to include cardio. I push as hard as I can based on how I feel that day.
On days where I have no energy and feel blah, I may just walk and listen to music on the headphones and tune the world out for awhile. As long as your moving and pushing yourself it is going to be beneficial.

It's one of those things where you don't feel like doing it and then when you force yourself and get it done and it is such a good satisfying feeling!

Pilgrim
05-21-15, 08:12 AM
Exercise is one of the main ingredients in the recipe for battling AD(H)D. I do whatever I can. If I can go to the gym I always make sure to include cardio. I push as hard as I can based on how I feel that day.
On days where I have no energy and feel blah, I may just walk and listen to music on the headphones and tune the world out for awhile. As long as your moving and pushing yourself it is going to be beneficial.

It's one of those things where you don't feel like doing it and then when you force yourself and get it done and it is such a good satisfying feeling!

I would say this. One good thing that I've learnt is to push harder. Even when I feel ****.

TygerSan
05-23-15, 02:06 PM
Yeah. I'm so much happier since I started running.

I have a very hard time getting started, though. Inertia is a very hard thing to overcome, and I'm terrified about getting injured for that reason (once I've started, I'm good, but I get really frustrated if I've stopped and have lost conditioning). I used to be really into indoor climbing (reminds me that I really need to get back into it over the summer, maybe even go outside).

Right now, I've been running for almost 2 years now. Have trained for 2 half-marathons, and am strongly considering training for a marathon this summer. Being mostly unemployed currently makes scheduling easy. I definitely wouldn't consider training for a marathon working 9-5. I don't think I'd wind up doing enough running during the week.

I don't always want to get out the door, but I feel great once I actually get out there.

BellaVita
05-23-15, 03:13 PM
Yes!!!! Exercise is life!!!

I'm still healing from a sprained ankle, which really sucks.

I *actually* picked a high-energy dog (she was the highest energy dog of her litter!) JUST so it would force me to go outside and get lots of daily exercise. (She goes crazy without it!!!)

My plan worked.

It helps relieve my anxiety and gives me a high.

Unmanagable
05-23-15, 08:13 PM
Purposeful movement of any sort helps keep me out of my head. I don't run, and if you see me running, you better run, too, because that means something's after my a**. LOL

But I love to walk/hike, dance, do yoga, still trying to learn to hula hoop, and gardening can be quite the workout depending on the tool at hand. There's also something incredibly therapeutic, to me, in getting my feet and hands in the dirt, then seeing things grow from my efforts. Good stuff.

Jacksper
05-24-15, 03:04 AM
@all - great to read that exercise is so good for you as well!

My belief in the greatness of exercise has once again been confirmed; I've been exercising for two weeks now and let me tell you... I feel SO good again! :)

This is important, because since three or four weeks ago things started going worse again; couldn't motivate myself to do anything except for the bare necessities - luckily I managed to do my final two exams (somehow I passed one of them with a good mark and the other one is not graded yet, but will probably be good as well) after studying for one or two hours. So I survived, but nothing more than that. I have this final report that I should write; it takes about three or four weeks, but I have only spent one day on it. You can write it whenever you want, but I want to write it now - because it's the last thing I need to do for my studies, after that I am done. But unfortunately my brain was on lazy mode, even light depression mode for those weeks.

But: two weeks ago I started exercising and I feel my brain chemistry is changing; I feel so good! :D

My stress is lower; when I feel frustrated/stressed out - instead of sitting in my room and doing nothing and getting deeper in some depressed state I now have the option of doing a run, which I did very often. Luckily my leg (which was injured) can take much more than I expected. This week I ran 23 km, next week I'll do 25 (from now on I change my weekly distance with 5-10% max). When I did my run I feel like a new day has started; if I felt bad about something I have let go of it and if I was lazy I feel the need to get things done. It's very fulfilling! :)

This works on the short term, but on the long term I notice improvement too; I don't get deeper and deeper in my depressed state, because I "clean up" my head very often. Like I said during exercise I let go of things that bother me. I think it is not only because exercise makes me feel good in general, but also because I can concentrate my thoughts very well and think things through (yay dopamine! ;)). So I can think quite rationally and I see that things are not as bad as they seem. So these worries don't stick in my head for long and so they don't continue drag me down deeper and deeper.

I also feel that exercise is great for my self-confidence and self-image. It makes me feel strong! Especially yesterday's workout worked very well for this; I ran 5 kilometers to the river, swam 1 kilometer in it and then ran the 5k back to home. Nobody's swimming yet, because the water is too cold, but I took my wetsuit with me. It was a nice adventure and it felt so good! Today I will repair my bike and I'll cycle for 40 km or so, exploring an area near my town that I've never visited yet. The next adventure.

But first I'll do some chores and I'll do a few hours of studying, because my study is my main priority now. Now that I can exercise again I feel that I can do this! :)

This week I plan to exercise 9 times; 3 * running, 2 * strength training, 2 * biking and 2 * swimming. I'll do it in 6 days, so I have one break day, and of course I'll listen to my body; if something feels out of whack I just skip a session. I've made schedule (one of the few schedules that I am motivated to keep), 6 out of 9 sessions are planned at the end of the after noon/early evening (17.00-18.30). Then I can get rid of the stress of the workday and I can have positive/productive evenings!

Skyf@ll
05-24-15, 03:26 AM
I used to be boring and just do weightlifting, but have took more of an interest in running etc over the past few months.

Quite fancy training for one of those tough mudder courses, something different.

Suppose you gotta mix it up a bit to keep it interesting.

Jacksper
05-24-15, 03:41 AM
Great that you stopped torturing yourself, doing (just) a form of exercise that you didn't enjoy. The results of weightlifting can be great and very useful to support other sports, but I find it not fulfilling enough by itself. As you can read I am a firm believer that exercise can be great and I always think it's sad when people just exercise because they have to, finding no joy in it - because they aren't looking for it; they suppose exercise is "just not fun". There's hundreds of different sports that you can do and so many ways you can make your training sessions interesting!

Running is my favorite as well! Cool that you're going to do a tough mudder, I'm sure that will be an awesome experience!

Having a mix of many different sports is even better! There is so much to learn and so much to do, getting bored is just not possible ;)

Skyf@ll
05-24-15, 07:16 AM
No I did enjoy it, however I meant other people may thought I was boring for just sticking to weights lol

Its good to see a change not only in your body composition but the amount you can lift. But then I was like hey, I want to get "fit" as well!

Where I'm from the majority of guys in the gym just want to get "big" but they probably couldnt even run a couple of miles without passing out lol

I admire the guys that do the Ironman triathlons, it is a superhuman feat.

Jenn1202
06-06-15, 11:30 PM
YES! I play sports, go running, walk a lot, do gymnastics, go rock climbing, and randomly try new activities and extreme sports. I recently also started learning how to skateboard and I'm planning on taking a trapeze class soon, because it looks like a ton of fun.

I've had times when I got sick for several months and couldn't exercise. I was so miserable and my ADHD got so much worse!

Pilgrim
06-07-15, 03:38 AM
YES! I play sports, go running, walk a lot, do gymnastics, go rock climbing, and randomly try new activities and extreme sports. I recently also started learning how to skateboard and I'm planning on taking a trapeze class soon, because it looks like a ton of fun.

I've had times when I got sick for several months and couldn't exercise. I was so miserable and my ADHD got so much worse!

We should meet. Although I live in Australia.

Just played Basketball for 3 hours. No bruising or anything.

windsoul
01-27-16, 04:48 AM
I actually go to the gym, and try to focus

it can be distracting when there are so many people sometimes though - and sometimes intimidating when there are brutes who want to do their heavy lifting, and you're having anxiety/trouble focusing and trying to stick with what YOU are doing instead of looking at other people.

but I'm doing more bench-pressing (which i did years ago) again and feel awesome. along with proper eating

windsoul
01-27-16, 05:02 AM
i don't like the 'getting really addicted' aspect too.

I tried talking to girls for a while last year and it suddenly became an over-focus on top of all priorities. Because your adhd brain doesn't think of anything else when you are having fun/stimulation.

Now I focus primarily on weight lifting, and yes, I do lose track of time at the gym occasionally but it's better than losing track of time at a bar or cafes.

cwf1986
05-10-16, 10:19 PM
YESSS!!!!

Way back when, lifting is what helped my hyperactivity part of ADHD and kept me from doing a lot of the stupid stuff I was doing that was destroying my life. And I continue it to this day. I get edgy, impulsive in what I say and do, and can't think straight when I go to long without a satisfying lifting session.

I got hooked on lifting weights. I found out I was totally becoming an adrenaline junky which was a lot better than the other kind of junky I was turning into haha.

I love lifting the heavy stuff. Yes! The really heavy stuff!!! Moving the kind of weight for me that makes me shake, makes me hyper focus, makes me angry! It's like committing a great and terrible act of violence without any of the bad consequences. Not that I've ever been violent. I've always tended more towards self-destruction, but that's a different story and water underneath the bridge.

For me, the heavy lifting is like a less intense life or death struggle. It's something I live for.

I remember getting attacked by a german shepard and the funny thing is that I wasn't scared at all. In fact, I loved it. It was a euphoric and exhilarating experience. The energy throughout my body when it dawned on me that it was on was like a bolt of lightning had struck me fueling my mind and every single muscle. The energy felt boundless. Never had I ever been so alert and clear headed. The boundaries between thought, emotion, motivation, fear and rage, and action were completely broken down and melded into one.

Granted I wasn't happy about the grazes it landed or the fact that I know I broke some of its ribs or the fact that its owners were really upset and sad after the fact. I still remember the sad, sad look it gave me as it turned its head back when it finally decided to get away from me :( That look it gave me was the worst part of it all....

But anyway, during the struggle, I knew my life was in the balance and loved it for some reason. Well, the lifting is a smaller scale version of that for me.

Jacksper
07-25-16, 04:03 PM
i don't like the 'getting really addicted' aspect too.

I tried talking to girls for a while last year and it suddenly became an over-focus on top of all priorities. Because your adhd brain doesn't think of anything else when you are having fun/stimulation.

Now I focus primarily on weight lifting, and yes, I do lose track of time at the gym occasionally but it's better than losing track of time at a bar or cafes.

Bit of a late response, but to explain what I mean with 'getting really addicted'; exercise releases a lot of chemicals in my brain, which gives me an incredible feeling. I feel alive, strong and focused. In fact, for up to a few hours after exercise my focus is a lot better, it feels like the ADHD has gone away for some time. All of these effects make exercise really addicting to me (in a good way).

A second effect that I notice, is that when I am starting to exercise (after not doing it for a while), I have to convince myself to go exercising again, and it is hard to keep running (not taking breaks). As the weeks pass, going exercising shifts from being a chore to being something I really to do, something that I feel that I should do, because my body demands it. When that is the case, I focus on making sure I don't exercise enough (so convincing myself not to exercise instead of the other way around (because I want to be smart and prevent injuries before they occur).

It is different from overfocus, because overfocus usually last a few days or week, while I am able to keep exercising consistently for many months, probably eventually for years.

This drug is not just good for my body, as I described in my OP, it is also good for my mind. I mentioned that is helps me become more focussed. It also helps me become more disciplined, also in other tasks. A small example: I just ran and cycled, and now I feel I want to continue doing things, so I am going to spend some time organizing my home. And many other things that I may have already described or will describe later.

TheFitFatty
07-27-16, 03:28 AM
Before I was diagnosed I used to use the gym as a way to focus. I found one close to work and used to go during my lunch break, because I found after I finished I could focus for a few hours. I'm still exercising all the time, but the meds are better. :D

Kdawg1
08-15-17, 02:04 PM
Bit of a late response, but to explain what I mean with 'getting really addicted'; exercise releases a lot of chemicals in my brain, which gives me an incredible feeling. I feel alive, strong and focused. In fact, for up to a few hours after exercise my focus is a lot better, it feels like the ADHD has gone away for some time. All of these effects make exercise really addicting to me (in a good way).

A second effect that I notice, is that when I am starting to exercise (after not doing it for a while), I have to convince myself to go exercising again, and it is hard to keep running (not taking breaks). As the weeks pass, going exercising shifts from being a chore to being something I really to do, something that I feel that I should do, because my body demands it. When that is the case, I focus on making sure I don't exercise enough (so convincing myself not to exercise instead of the other way around (because I want to be smart and prevent injuries before they occur).

It is different from overfocus, because overfocus usually last a few days or week, while I am able to keep exercising consistently for many months, probably eventually for years.

This drug is not just good for my body, as I described in my OP, it is also good for my mind. I mentioned that is helps me become more focussed. It also helps me become more disciplined, also in other tasks. A small example: I just ran and cycled, and now I feel I want to continue doing things, so I am going to spend some time organizing my home. And many other things that I may have already described or will describe later.


Hey jacksper,

I understand exactly what you are talking about. About 8 years ago I got into running then triathlons about 6 years ago. When I train I dont feel all lethargic and my mind clears up I was finishing 5k 10k and sprints in the top 3% with really minimal training, I felt alive. But there was a problem I went too hard too fast and got a ton of injuries. And then I started having a bunch of helth issue's I could not do anything anymore its been almost 3 years and I started taking meds ADD is out of control and I now have RA. I am on meds in hope they will work so I can bike and run again I need this in my life again. I stoped the meds mostly and Iv just been lost lately. I'm really starting to question life. Lately Iv been trying to convert my TT bike to a roadbike. I think it may work.

sarahsweets
08-15-17, 02:09 PM
I could not do anything anymore its been almost 3 years and I started taking meds ADD is out of control and I now have RA. I am on meds in hope they will work so I can bike and run again I need this in my life again. I stoped the meds mostly and Iv just been lost lately. I'm really starting to question life. Lately Iv been trying to convert my TT bike to a roadbike. I think it may work.

Wait are you being treated for the adhd or not? Do you mean you stopped adhd meds and started RA meds?

hutchie0109
08-15-17, 04:42 PM
Exercise, one of the best drugs ever, recently read Natural Born Heroes and Born to Run which lead me to barefoot running, both by Christopher McDougal, and the Paleo Mediterranean diet sugar free, which cured my sugar addiction, I now enjoy food, my other favourite drug.

finallyfound10
08-15-17, 05:04 PM
Pre-diagnoses I was a "gym rat"and I know that my thinking was much clearer and physically, I felt amazing. I primarily did Pilates, Spinning and Weight lifting and loved all of it!

Now that I have more free time, I really should look into going to the gym again....

finallyfound10
08-15-17, 05:09 PM
Hey jacksper,

I understand exactly what you are talking about. About 8 years ago I got into running then triathlons about 6 years ago. When I train I dont feel all lethargic and my mind clears up I was finishing 5k 10k and sprints in the top 3% with really minimal training, I felt alive. But there was a problem I went too hard too fast and got a ton of injuries. And then I started having a bunch of helth issue's I could not do anything anymore its been almost 3 years and I started taking meds ADD is out of control and I now have RA. I am on meds in hope they will work so I can bike and run again I need this in my life again. I stoped the meds mostly and Iv just been lost lately. I'm really starting to question life. Lately Iv been trying to convert my TT bike to a roadbike. I think it may work.

Swimming, biking or any non-impact exercise is good for RA.

So is Yoga and Pilates (Pilates may look easy but it will kick your butt!)

Also, I am not sure you are on meds for ADHD but I would look into it s it can make a huge difference.

Kdawg1
08-16-17, 08:59 PM
Wait are you being treated for the adhd or not? Do you mean you stopped adhd meds and started RA meds?

Yes I stoped the ADD meds after I quit my job 3 weeks ago. I was on dex for a year at first it helped then I was just going crazy at work. Im trying a new rheumatoid arthritis med now that I hope works so I can run again

Muggy ray
09-10-17, 01:50 AM
Yasssss,

I love lifting weights, and my favorite type of lifting is powerlifting cuz I feel like lifting super heavy weights just gives me a hella adrenaline rush. I do wrestling too and I like that but my favorite sport is definitely weight lifting.

TheGreatKing
09-10-17, 06:23 PM
I love working out especially lifting weight but i am always in and out 3 months here 2 weeks here fairly random and have a hard time to keep on going.