Countless studies support the importance of being active, but what if you loathe the gym?  Read on to learn how to enjoy exercise…

From boosting weight loss, bone health, the brain and helping manage Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), there is an ever-growing list of reasons why we should exercise regularly.

Making exercise a habit can help reduce symptoms of ADHD, anxiety and depression. In fact, exercise works well for conditions like ADHD because, during exercise, the brain releases stress-reducing neurotransmitters, one of which is dopamine. People with ADHD often have lower levels of dopamine.

However, if you’re not naturally active it can be tough to exercise regularly – and enjoy it.

5 Ways to enjoy exercise

If you dread the idea of hitting the gym, we have a few tips to help put the fun back into fitness:

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1. Keep it simple

Start small and simple with a daily 20-minute walk. When you create such a simple daily goal, it seems almost silly not to complete it every day.

On the other hand, if a fitness routine is complicated, you may find it difficult to follow or maintain, which can leave you feeling demotivated.

Related: 5 Ways to ease back into an exercise regime

2. Find a workout buddy

Take that 20-minute walk with a good friend or family member and you have a chance to exercise and chat.

A workout buddy who shares similar health goals is ideal as they will hold you accountable to your ‘workout date’, plus it’s more fun to exercise together.

3. Take it outside

Combine exercise with fresh air and sunshine.

Studies suggest ‘green exercise’ – exercise done outside – helps elevate mood, mental focus and may help you sleep better.

Related: How exercise prevents dementia

4. Go slow

Who says you have to pound pavements to get fit?

There are so many ways to exercise, and some are particularly beneficial if you have ADHD.

For example, martial arts help enforce structure for people with ADHD while progressively building up your fitness levels.

Doing Pilates or yoga is good for people who experience hyperactivity, one of the symptoms of ADHD. These exercises are calming and encourage inward focus while strengthening and stretching the body.

5. Dance it out

Dance classes can be such fun that you’ll forget that you’re exercising. Dancing not only feels great, it boosts concentration, improves coordination and encourages socialisation.

Whatever exercise you choose, as long as you’re moving you’re likely to see positive effects.

For more information about ADHD, visit MyADHD or to take a self-assessment test to see if your symptoms could be consistent with adult ADHD, click here.

Sources: WebMD: Adult ADHD and Exercise, Everyday Health: Favourite Fitness Tips for Adults with ADHD and Exercises for Adults with ADHD

While All4Women endeavours to ensure health articles are based on scientific research, health articles should not be considered as a replacement for professional medical advice. Should you have concerns related to this content, it is advised that you discuss them with your personal healthcare provider.