- Last Updated on Thursday, 05 March 2020 16:53
Stef Goddard lives in Queensland. She is sharing her ADHD journey so that you might know that any of us can floruish. She tells how self-education, determination and prioritizing physical & mental health transformed her life.
“I was diagnosed with ADHD at the age of 5 (I ‘m now 30). I started my fitness journey 5 years ago when I was very unhealthy and very depressed.
When I began educating myself about how to best transform my health and life nothing could have prepared me for how vital Fitness, Nutrition and Exercise are – physically, cognitively and mentally.”
I wish I had known this earlier
“I discovered that when you exercise with purpose, a few interesting things begin to happen in your body and mind.”
Hormones are released by our adrenal glands called Catecholamines (Norepinephrine, Epinephrine and Dopamine). Through research(*) and further education I found that this improves our brains ability to send signals by producing new growth of dopamine and norepinephrine – the main neurotransmitters or signal senders that your ADHD brain struggles to consistently produce and send.
“It increases your happiness hormones, improves attention, calms the brain and decreases your need to fidget – the same thing that ADHD medication does.
So despite being ‘huffed, puffed and sweaty’ you feel better and more productive after a good workout … or even a brisk walk!
Committing to regular fitness, nutrition and research as well as making new habits that serve to reinforce my new routine, made an immense difference to my life. I now live with less stress and my self-confidence and quality of life has increased. I am more energized, alert and able to function at optimum levels most of the time now.
I found that you give yourself a huge ‘upper hand’ when you combine routine exercise with balanced nutrition, hydration and make and effort to research your ADHD.
I now manage some of the difficult ADHD symptoms, the ones we all struggle with. Personally, I know that the right foods/drinks (nutrition) is a big key factor and definitely my number one.”
Tips If You’re Just Starting
· Opting to go for a short 15- 20-minute lunchtime ‘work-walk’ improved my mood, concentration and metabolism.
An easy way to start is (I do this myself and recommend to clients of mine) is to either use a small part of your lunch break to get out and move. If possible, it’s great to bring another co-worker to add that social aspect, a laugh and a vent.
· Or set a time before or after dinner – by yourself or as a family – for a short 15-20 minute walk, take the basketball, walk and talk, connect and gradually you will want to increase that to even a 30 minute walk a couple of times a week.
“I never thought that I would be as passionate about Fitness and Health! Through life I struggled so much academically with attention, purpose and interest.
Through the self-confidence I taught myself I chose to use my energy and focus on the many positives of ADHD and tapping into the amazing ADHD ability of ‘hyper-focus’ is very useful.
Right Now? I’m continuing tertiary study and I am infatuated with research about ADHD, fitness and nutrition.
I now also proudly run my own business and love helping people understand and use the benefits of NUTRITION, FITNESS and WELLNESS to help their own quality of life.”
Written by Stef Goddard is Queensland based, a skilled Personal Trainer, Nutrition, Health & Wellness Coach, Mum, Business Owner and lives with ADHD.