ADHD & College: During Life's Major Transitions, Keep Active

Here at Living, Learning, & Writing with ADHD, we focus a lot on the energy of ADHD. This is fueled by my own need to keep my excess energy in check. On weeks that I skip my usual runs, swims, dance & fitness classes, my body simply feels out of whack. Bees seem to buzz under my skin, my legs twitch and kick under the covers at night. I feel extremely restless.

What's great about the hyperactivity of ADHD is that it's hard to be in poor physical shape. You're always moving, squirming, fiddling, jumping...You experience much of the world through your body. The downfall is that you must maintain an active lifestyle, despite time constraints and other priorities.

Susan Martin recently reached out to me about the below graphic (scroll down), which got me thinking about my own transition into college. What fitness regimes did I maintain? Which did I let slip? What was the effect?

In high school, I was a dancer, a cheerleader, a runner. In addition to these, I also lived in the walkers' city of New York, where rarely a day passed without going a mile on foot. This all changed when I moved to Waterville, ME, for my first semester at Colby College. Used to the seasonal routines of sports and dance practice, I hadn't considered what life would be like without these activities built into my schedule. I hadn't realized the loss I would feel without the athletic center as my second home.

Although I dabbled cheerleading in college (it wasn't as rigorous as I expected), participated in the Colby Dancers troupe for a semester or two, what I turned to in college physically was running, biking, yoga, and gymnastics (something I had pursued intensely up until high school). My exercises differed. There wasn't the community of the teams I had graduated from, but I realized that being physically active was deeply ingrained in my sense of wellbeing. When I founded the Gymnastics Club during my junior year, I rediscovered a community of athletes, who cheered on each tumbling pass or swing on the bars, and I made a priority of keeping up that activity as part of my weekly routine. In fact, it's an activity I continue today at New York's own Chelsea Piers.

While your physical sports, hobbies, and exercises likely differ from mine. I hope you keep up your own active routines throughout every major life transition. It's easy to shrug them off, thinking you're cured of that old restlessness you experienced as an ADHD child. But at least in my experience, that never truly goes away.

What activities keep you active in your daily life? And how do you manage to stay active during life's major transitions? Do you (and your body) feel the need to move each day as I do?

Comment below or send me a note at WriteToJulianna!

Here are some tips from Susan Martin and TheBestColleges.org to get you started on the right foot...

The Best Regimen for College Fitness
created by TheBestColleges.org

For more information about Exercise & ADHD, check out these posts!
ADDaptations: Exercise Your Way to Calm
Olympics 2012: Which Sports Can Someone with ADHD Excel In?