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The Benefits Of Exercise With ADHD


According to ADDitude editors (2015), “Exercise turns on the attention system, the so-called executive functions — sequencing, working memory, prioritizing, inhibiting, and sustaining attention.” Hence, one of the best coping skills to help manage the symptoms associated with ADHD is exercise. Exercising with ADHD has many benefits. This article will reveal the benefits of exercising with ADHD. They include increased dopamine levels, endorphin levels, and maintenance of a healthy weight.

Exercise Increases Dopamine Levels

According to WebMD (2015), “When you exercise, your brain releases chemicals called neurotransmitters, including dopamine, which helps with attention and clear thinking. People with ADHD often have less dopamine than usual in their brain.”  Hence, according to WebMD, people with ADHD have a tendency to have decreased dopamine levels, in contrast to people who do not have ADHD. With that said, exercise increases dopamine levels in people with ADHD. As a result, increased dopamine levels in people with ADHD enable them to concentrate better and think in a clearer manner.  Therefore, exercise is essential for anyone with ADHD.

Exercise Increases Endorphin Levels

In addition to increasing dopamine levels in people with ADHD, according to Quily (2008), exercise also increases endorphin levels in people with ADHD. According to Konkel (2015), endorphins are known as the feel good chemicals in the brain. Konkel (2015) also states that endorphins help improve the mood of a person with ADHD. Hence, by increasing endorphin levels, or the feel good chemicals in the brain, exercise should be a high priority for someone with ADHD.

Maintenance Of A Healthy Weight

According to WebMD (2015), “Evidence suggests people with ADHD are more likely to become obese.” Hence, according to Gromisch (2015), “Children who have ADHD symptoms into adulthood have higher overweight and obesity rates.” It has even been argued that the increase in weight of people with ADHD is correlated to dopamine levels in the brain. According to Gromisch (2015), “Those with attention deficit disorder, in turn, have lower dopamine levels, particularly in the prefrontal cortex. Dopamine levels affect working memory, resulting in problems sustaining attention during a task.  The authors note that this switch in attention may be associated with a phasic increase in dopamine reinforcing the reward from novelty. Thus, any action that increases the dopamine levels, such as eating, will be appealing for those with ADHD.” Hence, the maintenance of a healthy weight through exercise is essential for someone with ADHD.


Exercising is healthy for anyone. However, for someone with ADHD it is extremely healthy. As mentioned in the article, it increases dopamine and endorphin levels. Plus, it also enables someone with ADHD to maintain a healthy weight. Start exercising. You will feel better about yourself.

Sporty woman photo available from Shutterstock

The Benefits Of Exercise With ADHD

Lauren Walters

My name is Lauren Walters. I am currently heading into my final semester of graduate school for Mental Health Counseling in the Spring of 2016. Through my own experiences with mental illness, I love to inspire others through my writings and reassure them that they can live healthy, productive lives, despite mental illness. I hope you enjoy my articles. Feel free to comment. I will be sure to respond to you questions and/or comments in a prompt manner. Enjoy!

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APA Reference
Walters, L. (2016). The Benefits Of Exercise With ADHD. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 11, 2020, from


Last updated: 25 Jan 2016
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