ADHD Tools: AirTrim Sport Mask

Run in the cold!I love to run. But the cold air hurts my lungs so much that I find it rather unpleasant to run in the winter. Due to cold-induced asthma, I end up wheezing and my chest hurts for a long time afterwards. Yeah, I could run indoors on a treadmill, but I find that unpleasant too. Part of the joy of running, for me, is being in nature and becoming part of the landscape.

What does this have to do with ADHD? Well, exercise is a critical element of any ADHD treatment plan – it gets the neurotransmitters firing and helps us focus. But we often put it off. In general, we tend to procrastinate on things that are:

  • Unclear
  • Too big
  • Boring
  • Unpleasant

There’s that word again, unpleasant. The simple solution is to find a way to make the thing you’re avoiding (in this case, exercise) more pleasant.

A few years ago I took a chance on a product called the AirTrim cold air mask. It’s a little on the expensive side at $65 plus shipping and not available locally (if you live in south central Pennsylvania). It’s a heat exchanger mask that traps the air you exhale and uses it to warm the air you inhale by as much as 40 degrees. It’s ugly as sin, but it works! I like it for running because it doesn’t trap wet vapor against my face, it only covers my mouth and nose so I don’t get overheated, and it’s lightweight. According to the manufacturer, it’s used by the Swedish ski team. So yes, you can also use it for skiing or any other outdoor activity if cold air bothers your lungs. Surprisingly, it’s not available on amazon.com. I got mine online from Boulder Nordic Sport.

So there you have it. A simple tool to keep you exercising outdoors even in cold weather. And a general principle for overcoming procrastination: figure out what you’re finding unpleasant about the activity/task/event, and use your ADHD creativity to find a way to make it more appealing. Or at least less unpleasant.