|Directory of Experts|
Stephen C. Putnam, author
Nature's Ritalin for the Marathon Mine
Author Biography: Stephen C. PutnamStephen C. Putnam holds an M.Ed.degree in Guidance and Psychological Services from Springfield (Mass.) College. As an adult who had been diagnosed with ADHD, he took up marathon canoe racing and found that the exercise transformed his life. It helped him to focus his mind, and overcome the other effects of ADHD, better than medication. Canoeing also became a healthy, enjoyable family activity that he shared regularly with his children.
In researching the issue (comparing all available laboratory research and interviews with parents, counselors, and other adults who work with children), he was able to confirm that exercise has effects on the brain similar to Ritalin, with similar benefits for those with ADHD.
The result of that research is his book, Nature's Ritalin for the Marathon Mind: Nurturing your ADHD Child with Exercise. The book has won widespread acclaim from mainstream physicians and other health professionals, as well as those who support alternative treatments. Putnam emphasizes that this is not an "anti-Ritalin" bookas medications have proved their value in a great many cases. However, he has shown that for many children (and adults), a regular schedule of exercise is a viable alternative, without medication's unwanted side effects.
Excerpts from Reviews
Nature's Ritalin for the Marathon Mind
- We highly recommend Stephen Putnam's book. It's full of tips and ideas
for helping your child through the world of exercise. If you have a
child with ADHD or ADD, you'll return to the book often.
Carol Goodrow, KidsRunning.Com
- In testing his theories, Putnam brings together a wide range of
studies, anecdotal evidence, and laboratory research. The results
of that research show aerobic exercises have a chemical effect on
the brain similar to that of Ritalin and other psychostimulant drugs.
The book provides details on determining the optimum amount of exercise,
setting exercise schedules, and motivating an ADHD child. While
not an "anti-Ritalin" book, it does introduce alternative treatments
and will be a welcome resource for parents of ADHD children.
- The usefulness of this resource goes beyond ADHD. People with
other dysfunctional diseases such as depression, anxiety, and
sensory deprivation may benefit, according to the author, who
discusses the pros and cons of exercise as an alternative treatment.
Readers may use the book's checklists, motivational ideas, tips,
and tests to find how an individual is affected by exercise.
These suggestions will help set up a program of fitness. Methods
to take a heart rate, and exercise safety and risks are also
discussed to develop a safe program. The author uses medical
research and studies to back up his concepts. This handy guide
could transform the struggle with a "difficult" child into an
enjoyable, healthy relationship.
- Stephen C. Putnam's Nature's Ritalin for the Marathon
Mind: Nurturing Your ADHD Child with Exercise details
an often-overlooked ADHD treatment: strenuous movement.
Provides suggestions for motivation, scheduling, and determining
the right amount of activity.
Mothering Magazine's "Latest and Greatest Books for What's Bothering You"
- In the book, Putnam documents studies, laboratory
research, and other evidence that shows that regular
exercise can control symptoms just as well as drugs
for many children and adults with ADHD.
The Union-News (Springfield, Mass.)
- Steve Putnam shares an important concept that
needs to be fully considered as a useful and eminently
rational alternative to those popular drugs whose
long-term effects on our children's brains/minds
and personality development remain to be evaluated.
He DARES us to get it right.
Jaak Panksepp, Ph.D., Dept. of Psychology, Bowling Green State University
- Steve Putnam's book is fascinating. It is
a "must-read" for anybody interested in ADHD.
Thom Hartman, author, Attention Deficit Disorder: A Different Perception
- Nature's Ritalin for the Marathon Mind
offers an abundance of information and
practical advice on the use of physical
activity as an alternative or adjunctive
treatment for ADHD. The book provides a
stimulating, balanced discussion of issues
associated with incorporating exercise into
the treatment regimen.
Britton W. Brewer, Ph.D., co-editor, Exploring Sport and Exercise Psychology
- I find this volume very exciting.
It makes avoiding the obvious extremely
difficult. It could have a major impact
on our lives and the lives of our children.
I hope we'll take heed.
W. Mark Shipman, M.D., director, Institute for Developmental Research, San Diego Center for Children
Contact information for Stephen C. PutnamTo contact Steve Putnam by e-mail, Click Here. Journalists who would like additional information or who would like the publisher's help in arranging coverage should call Upper Access at (802)482-2988 or e-mail us .
Sample questions for journalists and talk-show hosts
- Why is ADHD reaching epidemic proportions today? What is different
today than in the past,when the condition was far less common?
- Are you just saying that children who are over-active need
to run around and let off some steam? Or are the issues more
complicated than that?
- Do the medications for ADHD make it harder for children
to become motivated to exercise?
- What if a child isn't interested in sports, or is
uncoordinated and unable to make the teams in school?
- Is it safe to just stop taking medication in
order to try exercise as an alternative treatment?
- If exercise is helping, will more exercise
always be even better?
- Describe aerobic exercise. How can we
tell if a child is exercising at that
- Should childen be forced to exercise,
with a threat of punishment if they
- How can we get young children
to exercise, when there are so
many passive enjoyments like video
games and television?
- Teenagers in particular
resist doing what their parents
and other adults urge them
to do. How can they be motivated
to exercise more?
- How formal and rigid
should the exercise program
be? Should we insist that
children use heart monitors,
for example, and keep
track of their progress
- Is exercise therapy
actually being used
in schools and other
venues, or is this
all just a theory
at this point?
- Is it appropriate
to give children
rewards for exercising?
Isn't there a
danger that they'll
and expect rewards
they do for their
- Is it realistic
that the faculty
or that overworked
find the time?