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Starting and sticking with your exercise goal

Are you planning to make a New Year’s resolution to go to the gym regularly?

Exercising more or just starting an exercise program is one of the most popular resolutions made each New Year. Ads for local gyms and fitness programs show up in every TV broadcast, newspaper, and online. Sales of sports equipment spike.  Despite the best intentions, however, up to 75 percent people who promised themselves that they’ll work out more drop their fitness routines before summer arrives.

For adults affected by ADHD, the struggle to remain active can be even more difficult. Chris Marino, MS, a fitness educator and personal trainer sees his clients’ ADHD symptoms interfere with their fitness routines.

“How do we help people with ADHD start or sustain their motivation to exercise?” he writes in Fitness & Your Brain: How to Start and Stick with Exercise for CHADD’s Attention magazine. “ADHD challenges often present significant obstacles. Current statistics suggest that less than 15 percent of the U.S. population exercises regularly enough to achieve optimal benefits. If people who don’t have ADHD have trouble with this, what happens when you have a tendency toward procrastination, poor follow-through, and getting bored easily?”

People “drop out” because they start a new fitness program for the wrong reasons, Mr. Marino writes. “If you want to get motivated to do anything, you must first perceive that activity as having a high value.”

What can you do to keep this year’s resolution to get more physical activity into your schedule?

“Commit to something that challenges you to get out of your comfort zone,” Mr. Marino says. “Choose your activity wisely. If you get bored easily, don’t settle on one thing. Have a plan that includes alternatives.”

Get tips on starting and keeping a fitness resolution. Read Fitness & Your Brain: How to Start and Stick with Exercise now.

This article appeared in ADHD Weekly on December 29, 2016.

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