I Need My Dopamine and I Need it Now!

Raising awareness of all things ADHD! - ADHD and Exercise adult 1850925 1920
Exercise can be a huge benefit for ADHD as it increases dopamine levels.

The past few weeks I’ve noticed that I’ve felt differently in my own headspace, not in the way I can’t think clearly but more in my temperament. I feel angry all the time, the slightest thing the kids do turns me into the Incredible Hulk, and I think what the heck is wrong with me?

Firstly, let me clear one thing up; it’s not PMS, I’m pretty good at keeping tabs and it’s way too early for me to be suffering from that, so I’ve been wracking my brains thinking what could it be? Then it hit me, since the kids have been on Summer holiday, I’ve not been able to get to the gym!!

“There is a strong link between ADHD and exercise.”


Being a single parent unfortunately my free time is mainly limited to two occasions; when the children are in bed or when the children are in school. When the children used to be in school, I used to go to the gym three times a week and I quite enjoyed it. I was getting good at lifting weights and proving my body can actually do stuff.

There is actually a strong link between combating the effects of ADHD and exercising often. ADHD is thought to relate to a lack of the chemical dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is a chemical regulator that basically impacts on how much pleasure we feel when carrying out certain tasks. It’s one of the main reasons we struggle massively with motivation.

However, get this, when you exercise your body produces more of the very chemical, we are lacking. No wonder I’ve been so grouchy lately, I’ve gone from having three hits of pleasure regulator a week to zero. My body is probably wondering why I’m punishing it.

“I need to stop making excuses, and just do it before my head explodes!”


So, moving forward, I’m going to have to get my thinking cap on, what kind of exercise can I do either with the kids or when they are in bed? Should I invest in a fold away exercise machine? Where the heck can I put it? I have a road bike which is perfectly great, and my kids have bikes, but expecting them to keep up with the speed I need to achieve a decent amount of exercise is probably not realistic.

I am actually thinking there is a huge gap in the market for gym facilities which provide child care for those older than five, what are we single parents supposed to do? Are we only supposed to stay fit during school hours?? I need my dopamine fix and I need it now!! The short-term solution is probably doing some exercise videos once the kids are in bed or like I said investing in gym equipment. I need to stop making excuses and just do it before my head explodes.

Having ADHD, means you are impulsive, it means you are more likely to act on basic emotion. To be the best person I can be….the best foster parent….the best author….the best anything….I need to make sure that I am looking after myself; dopamine levels and all!


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