One of The Most Important Pieces to Personal Training (Whether you have ADHD or not)

A lot has been added to the field of exercise science over the past few decades. New discoveries of how the body works – whether physical, neurological, or chemical – have led to a multitude of ways to train the body. The more we learn about how it functions, and the more science we apply to training, we can really tune in to what works best on an individual basis.

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I have been a fitness professional for over 16 years now, and have trained hundreds of people during that time. I’ve led private coaching sessions, small groups, boot camps, Muscle Activation Technique (MAT) sessions, lectures, nutrition classes, bodybuilding posing training, online training, and more. A lot of education has gone into learning about the inner workings of the human body and how it is designed to function. And now more research is illustrating the role of exercise in helping to enhance the ADHD mind (more about the specifics of that in another post).

With all of the advanced tools, programs and techniques that have been introduced to improve the human body’s performance, there is still one thing that is so important when it comes to personal training and our role in creating a healthy body:

ACCOUNTABILITY

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In all of the advances with science and it’s role in the personal training industry, just keeping people accountable seems to have become secondary to collecting data, aquiring vast amounts of knowledge, and using the latest scientific research to create the ultimate workout.

The longer that I am in this field, the more I see the importance of keeping others accountable with their health & fitness endeavors. That is a big part of why I have a career. Setting up appointments so that others can stay accountable should be at the top of the list when deciding to utilize a personal trainer. This is especially true with those who have ADHD.

As Marla Cummins states, “Of all the structures, asking for accountability to help you implement a rule is the one that may really rub you the wrong way.” That’s because we don’t necessarily want people telling us what to do, checking in on us, or keeping our feet to the fire. But why not? We have a hard enough time doing it ourselves.

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I own my own fitness facility, so I am there most days of the week. I have to schedule my exercise appointments or they won’t happen…and I am right there! Not to say that you need to be in a gym – many people do well exercising at home, in the park, or just outside somewhere. But being accountable to a partner, friend or fitness professional can be just the thing we need to make strides in continuing to live a healthy and productive life.

More isn’t always better (even with exercise)

More isn’t always better (even with exercise)

I get to work out at a local health club today while on vacation. This is something I usually enjoy quite a bit, as I just love a new environment to get in some exercise. Those with ADHD know the importance of getting in intense exercise on a daily basis, and how it can affect our moods and our minds (I’ll go into the neurological and biochemical reasons why in a future post).

But here is where I can get into trouble…my excitement for the workout sometimes overrides my knowledge and expertise. I’ll get right into the session – not warming up for as long as I usually do, not having a plan going into it, and not listening to or being in tune with my body. Basically going back to my former ways of training when I was a novice. No pain, no gain.

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There are two problems with this:

1) I won’t experience the positive effects that go along with an appropriate workout on that day for my body (because every day and every body is different)

2) It won’t set up the rest of my day to make clearer choices in just about anything (healthy eating choices, how I’ll react to my children, am I being attentive to my spouse’s needs, am I present to what is going on around me?)

And this is where we need to realize that not all exercise is created equal. Of the little research or articles written on exercise and ADHD, much of it states that it doesn’t matter what types of exercise it is as long as it gets done. I feel we need to take it a step further and get the optimal exercise for that individual, while practicing mindfulness techniques no matter the type of exercise (intervals, yoga, weight training – again described further in a future post). Just as not all ADHD is the same, not all exercise is the same. How you do it is just as important as what you do.

Think of it this way…when doctors prescribe medicine, they provide a dosage that is going to help manage or eliminate the cause/symptoms appropriately and effectively. Too little and you’re looking at an ineffective dose and possibly longer recovery period. Too much and it may be fatal.

The same applies to exercise dosage. Too little and you won’t get the stimulus necessary to have the body adapt. Too much, and you may override the brain’s ability to keep you safe (muscle pulls, connective tissue tears, etc.).

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There especially needs to be a proper balance of exercise when it comes to ADHD. Exercise (especially intense exercise) can help with improved concentration, uplifted mood, and being present. But going beyond what our bodies can handle when exercising (more, more! MORE!) also means a greater chance for increased wear and tear on the body, or worse. This can lead to time off from workouts, which translates to all of the negatives of not getting in the necessary physical exertion that stimulates the ADHD mind in such a positive manner.

So as I head to the local health club, I will:

1) have a plan for my workout

2) warm up thoroughly

3) be completely “in it” during every exercise

4) be thankful I get the opportunity to do it

And I will know that I have set up my day to be better with the appropriate challenge for my body on this day.

No pain, all gain.

 

 

Routine on Spring Break (and any other trip)

Routine on Spring Break (and any other trip)

efriends-blogging-my-daily-routine-oCSTLa-clipartVacation, for me, tends to mean a break from schedules and the every day tasks that make up my daily existence. Sure there may be plans during trips I take, but otherwise it is a break from routine.

 

And that can be a dangerous thing.

I have had a sense of well-being, productivity, and all around clarity with some of the new habits I have brought into my life lately. Things like:

  1. My daily ritual of meditation
  2. My daily lemon water with Braggs apple cider vinegar in the morning before breakfast and 1 hour before bed at night.
  3. My daily workout (yes, even us personal trainers can get bogged down with life and not make time to exercise as much as we should)
  4. My daily use of essential oils at work and before going to bed
  5. Multiple alarms as reminders (take vitamins, work duties, pick up the kids, etc.)

Notice the common denominator: DAILY. When these things are in place and part of my day-to-day routine, I notice it. And my brain notices it.

brainconnectionI can think clearer, I have more energy, I don’t forget things (as much), and I am just a nicer person to be around. If I am on my schedule and not worrying about all of the things floating around in my head, I am more patient and generally more pleasant.

So what to do? Keep on my schedule as best as possible. This morning, I was up at 6am before everyone else, made my lemon water, and proceeded to do a 10 minute morning meditation with my insight-timer app.

I feel better, and feel like the day is going to be a good one. This is because I have prepared my mind for what is to come, and put a bit of my daily rituals into practice on vacation.

I will say, it is nice not having all of my alarms set.

Now where did I put those vitamins?…