Wednesday, June 05, 2013

ADHD: Do You Like to Read While You Walk?

I may have been kidding in the above video, but I do like to walk & read at the same time. I especially like to do it when I feel bored and antsy late at night. It's a trick I learned from an ADHD advisor in college. He had found he concentrated best when he was in motion (hence our mutual ADHD love for pacing while talking on the phone), so he would grab his text books and go out to the track and walk around it while studying. I've achieved the same result on treadmills—an activity usually so boring I'd rather have my ears pulled off with dental floss than do even five minutes of it. I found, though, that when equipped with a good book on my iPad (or with a very loaded Instapaper account), I could walk for 45-60 minutes on a treadmill without even noticing. When studying Japanese or other material, memorizing while also walking briskly was very effective. I found clarity and peace while doing both tasks. You can read more about it here. Hey, if it's on Wikipedia it must be true! I did find, however, that running while trying to read was not as useful. Not only was it hard to read the text of the stationary iPad as I bounced around the treadmill, it was hard to turn the pages. Now there's a great use for hands-free Google Glass.

But what do you do if the rec room is closed and you don't have access to a treadmill? How do you work off your nervous energy, study for an exam, or kill the two birds of exercise and novel reading at the same time? Alright, maybe not many of you have that particular urge. At any rate, I found that a stroll around my apartment complex's sidewalk did the trick. It was well lit, well constructed, and my peripheral vision kept me from tripping onto the lawn. Of course, walking with your head in a book is dangerous enough, never mind doing it at night while relying on peripheral vision to keep you on the path, so it's not an activity I do often unless I'm extremely antsy and have a death wish.

What do you think? Am I alone out here, or are there others of you who enjoy the clarity found in reading and studying while walking?