Endorphins at Work

You get it; you know I love waking up early and running {with a buddy}, because afterward hey! I’m awake! I feel refreshed! Let’s start this day – give me coffee! But not too much.

Why do I feel so awake? Well one answer right now would be the chilly air hitting me in the face (legs, arms – depending on my attire choices for the day) first thing in the morning. Yup, wide awake after that. Then we start running, and talking, and moving. Before I know it we’ve been putting one foot in front of the other for about an hour; my heart is beating a little bit faster, and the endorphins are flowing.

Endorphins:

Any of a group of hormones secreted within the brain and nervous system and having a number of physiological functions*.

“Exercise gives you endorphins; endorphins make you happy!”
Elle Woods, you know this

*What might these functions be?

Well, WebMD tells us, “The neuron receptors endorphins bind to are the same ones that bind some pain medicines.” Ergo, they block pain. Ahem, the reason you may not feel pain during running (hello, miles 20-26.2), but feel it immediately after stopping (more reason to keep. running.).

Apparently, these hormones also “trigger a positive feeling in the body, similar to that of morphine.” I’ll take endorphin over morphine any day – it’s produced by my own actions and doesn’t land me in jail. Win, win!

This article is really about exercise (and its partner-in-crime, endorphins) battling depression. It’s about how regular exercise helps to reduce stress, anxiety & feeling of depression; it boosts self-esteem, improves sleep, strengthens your heart, lowers blood pressure and, to top it all off, “makes you look fit & healthy”. All good things!

Those little endorphins work hard.

What else can endorphins do? According to one of our Back on My Feet Resident members, they can help you excel and focus. Check this out (if you’re crunched for time, start at 4:30):

 

My absolute favorite line here – “I get so excited – so, I went online and I googled Endorphins….and it came up, “Running high”! It really works.”

But the other point being, “I said to myself, if I can get up at 5:45 in the morning and run? There are some other things I’m able to do, too.”

Right there. That’s it. The reason we do it – the reason we’re “addicted” to that high? It blocks the pain, it elates us; it shows us what we can do, without doubt.

*****

What have you done under the influence of this ‘high’ { from endorphins. Focus.} ?

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9 Comments

Filed under early morning, good days, inspiration, learning, motivation, running, things that make me Happy

9 responses to “Endorphins at Work

  1. Dustin S

    I have tried to get the runners high.. Can’t seem to get there.. I get it while swimming, and doing Insanity/P90X 🙂

  2. Looove this line: “it shows us what we can do.” how freakin’ true of a statement is that? Awesome post!!

  3. You left out the best part of the line!
    “And happy people just don’t shoot their husbands. They just don’t.”

    See that? Running saves lives.

  4. I am definitely more focused and productive and just feel all-around better on mornings after I run! Like today!! 🙂

  5. I’m currently in an endorphin shortage. I had one briefly this morning but then it went away. cranky.

  6. Running in the morning totally gives me endorphins AND confidence for the rest of the day! it’s awesome!

  7. The runners high is addictive! The hardest part is getting out the door. Once you get going, it’s awesome. And the best part is when it’s over – your confidence is boosted and you’re riding HIGH (on endorphins, that is 🙂

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