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Lately, I have had no motivation to exercise and I'm not sure why.  I know exercise is so important for everyone, but it's important for someone with ADHD for more than just health reasons.  I enjoy exercise, especially when it's high intensity like spinning or cardio boxing.  This time last year they had day at my gym where they ran classes all day long, some existing and some that were going to be new.  I took 3 high intense classes in a row and made it through with no problem and felt great.  March rolled around and I got tennis elbow in my left arm so bad that I could not even do spin because any pressure I put on my arm was painful.  This is when I stopped going to the gym.  Yes I could have done the treadmill, which I despise.  I'm not a runner and have no interest in becoming one.  I did try to go back here and there.  First time back I pulled an ab muscle and then my right elbow started to hurt.  Now can you see why I have no motivation.  Maybe it's a fear thing, that maybe if I go back I'll get hurt again.  My dad who has worked out since he was a teenager, he's going to be 65 this year, always tells me to take it slow.  You'd think I'd listen to him, since after working out for over 40 years he actually does know what he's talking about:)  The thing is I need to get to the level where I feel like I'm doing the best I can and I leave knowing I gave it all I had.  I want to find the motivation again, obviously I tried going back thinking once I start going I would keep it up.


Has anyone ever felt like this or do you have any tips on getting motivated?  Any advice or words of wisdom would be appreciated.



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do you like to read, write, draw, puzzles? all of these things can be done while you are on a treadmill or an exercise bike. It keeps your mind occupied while you do some boring exercise.


Something I like to do is to walk to places like a store or to a pretty place. I like walking because I can let my mind wander and enjoy the scenery.


You could also listen to music or a book on tape while you walk or do some other exercise. Also make sure you drink plenty of water, make sure you get enough of your electrolytes such as potassium, sodium, and calcium.


I hope this helps.



Thanks Sarah!  My neighborhood is not the best place to take walks, since there are no sidewalks.  I grew up in a city that had sidewalks everywhere and now I live in the burbs where they are few and far between.  I see other people walking on the main street near my house, but I don't feel safe doing that, but there are places outdoors I could drive too.  There is a town about 5 miles from my house that has a lake and the walk is almost 3 miles and I enjoy it.  My moms neighborhood is good for walking too.  We talk walks in the spring in summer and it's a nice time to spend together.  I love listening to music and I love dancing too.  Maybe I'll just put on the IPod or radio and dance in my house. 


You always have great advice and give it in such a thoughtful way!

You're very welcome, Kelly.


Thank you for such a nice compliment, it means a lot to me. It comes from experience, observation (both self-observation and observing other people), reading lots of books on ADD/ADHD, over coming plenty of challenges, and just being me lol. I am not sure exactly where some of my wisdom or ideas come from other than maybe I see things in ways most other people don't. Maybe it points to my true calling...becoming a ADD/ADHD coach and later a neuropsychiatrist. :)



I became disabled by receiving the wrong diagnosis and wrong treatment.

I really had ADHD and depression, lost all motivation, and even the will to live, let alone exercise.

I've never been able to get in the swing of intense training, or anything that relies on other people or places like a gym:  I loved rowing, but not the rowers who commandeered boats; I liked the female gym, but not the music or when professionals started advertising slightly deceptive 'healthy skin' talks ( face lifts ).

Walking daily has become my most reliable discipline.

I wake up, shoes on.  Rain, wind or darkness.

Walking is non-threatening, non-violent and really cheap. I have never sustained an injury, been let down by the environment, people, or had to spend any money on membership or equipment, apart from a pair of shoes.

In the fourteen months since I was diagnosed, I've lost 20 kilograms, and I still eat cake and chocolate every day.

I went to a talk given by my psychiatrist.  He described a clinic for the worst cases of traumatised Vietnam Veterans with drug, alcohol and ADHD.  It had the best clinicians in psychiatry, psychology, physiology and nutrition in Australasia.  But the most effective 'therapist' was the 22 year old exercise jock that blew his whistle at 6 am and got the patients moving.  Vestibular movement is essential for the management of ADD.

The psychiatrist also said you have to be fit to live with ADD, it robs us of motivation, focus, discipline and strips confidence. This was good enough for me. 


I have not missed a walk since this talk. 


I have come to love weather changes and to see two other women, out first thing in the morning.  One is 82, and still plays tennis.  The 85 year old lives in the nursing home.  Last year she started using a walking frame.  But if you saw the hill she has to negotiate, you'd still think she was an inspiration.  I love seeing her winter hat collection. 

First thing in the morning.  Shoes on.

Another suggestion is the 21 day change of habit.  Find a 'buddy' - I will offer to be the buddy.  We could exchange a daily email and get the 21 day thing happening.






You are an inspiration and what you have written to me is truly a wake up call.  I feel like such a fool too.  I've been making excuses for too long, which is how most of my life has been.  Those women you spoke about how incredible are they, I hope I live that long to be like them.  I always feel like I could be more and embrace life more, but with me fear sets in.  I was talking to my husband last night about what I wrote and I said to him that as I was writing it I realized that "fear" was the factor in me not exercising.  Every time I had a set back I just gave up instead of finding another resource.  I guess in a way I was acting childlike and if I could not do it my way than I would not do it at all.  Maybe it's time to turn a corner and make a change.


I appreciate you offering to be my buddy for the 21 day change of habit and I will take you up on it.  Thank you for reaching out all the way across the globe!  By the way, I've always wanted to visit Australia and hope to get there at some point in my life.  My grandmother went there years ago, she passed away almost 7 years ago, but she always said it was one of her favorite places.


Thank you,


Hi Kelly


Today is day 1 / 21


I'm amazed at your fast, eloquent responses.


The 'goal' can change during the 21 days.


We can write to each other, which I would very much like, and we can help each other clarify what are the real goals. I need someone to be my prompt too.


Another lady from ADDer world has offered to keep in touch with me on the 21 day basis.

I had a terrible shock before Christmas, and was tormented by suicidal thinking. 

I asked could she be my email buddy.  Writing helps me integrate my brain when it gets dessicated. My goal is to get on top of these thoughts.  But I need someone to answer my emails.  She needs focus to organise her goals for her writing.  I hope I can help her in return.


The quest to find your motivation has started with letting us know you are so unhappy with how you are seeing yourself, and despairing that you won't be able to enjoy the high stimulation of spinning and cardio.


Don't panic yet! you've already taken step one.


The journey of establishing a stimulating routine starts with hope.


The journey of a thousand workouts starts with putting your training shoes on.


Your thankful replies show how much you want support and are willing to be warm and friendly to us.  I would like to return your warmth. 


What I read suggests that you are seeing the ADD symptoms as childlike, fear, excuses - all moral issues.  I don't think it's like that at all.  The hard workouts would have provided an enormous amount of structure in your life.  Take the bells, whistles, circuits, showers, gym subscriptions away.  Where are we left?  If ADD compromises our sense of permanency and purpose - where are our prompts? 


Thanks for noticing where I live Kelly - Australia is in my soul.









I'm sorry I did not reply to your post yesterday, I was very busy with work stuff.  I'm sorry to hear you recently went through a scary and trying time, but know that you have a support system here.  I think if we work on supporting each other and working towards a more positive outlook on life and especially ourselves then it can only get better, right?


I wanted to let you know that I decided to go back to my gym, because it's the only place that I've truly been dedicated.  However, I'm taking it slow this time so I don't injure myself.  I wanted to let you know that what you said was a major factor in getting my motivation back.


My email is and Sarah offered to join in too, which I think is great!



I am willing to join in on the email accountability everybody is talking about. Feel free to send me an email.


My email is




Thanks Pete!
I wish I had a answer for you. I've had the same problem for a while. I've gained weight recently, and as well as motivation to exercise, I feel the erratic times i eat, and the impulse to eat take away too often, is also a contributory factor. I joined a gym, and went once, despite feeling really positive about a new start when I signed up. People with ADHD we often find it difficult to finish what we start, if we start in the first place. 

I find that exercise buddies are really helpful.  I can think of 101 excuses why I shouldn't exercise on any particular day, but if I have someone counting on me to show up, I will be there.  Also, if you can remember how terrific you feel after you exercise, that will help to keep the excuses at bay.



Thanks Dr. Avery!  I went to the gym yesterday and did feel great after and I think I have my motivation back.  I'm going to my sister's house tomorrow for a yoga class her friend is teaching.  It will be nice to get a good stretch and quiet my mind!  Well as much as I can!LOL


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