If you’re like most of female America, one of your top news year’s resolutions involved hitting the gym more. I know mine does. Below are five reasons the endorphins resulting from a good work-out sesh should be your new crack.
I absolutely hate spin class. I dread it and curse every moment I’m in it. I wonder (sometimes aloud) if I’ll throw up from exertion (my somewhat troublesome threat to end all things I find unsavory… including navigating the city bus, picking up laundry and wearing heels for any length of time). But then I look down at the tension knob on the stationary bike. It reads “PUSH” and “STOP.” I see that as a set of options of which I always try to do the former. During this weekly ritual of pain, I also remind myself of how awesome I feel post-gym. Not only do I grin through a sense of piousness, I also relish the physical effect. Now I’ll get into the science of those physical effects — ENDORPHINS, courtesy of ehow.
1. They deaden appetite. After pounding the treadmill, I never crave a greasy slice of pizza. Sure, maybe I want a Tom Collins, but that’s different. Apparently the physical wear curbs cravings, especially those of the carb persuasion.
2. They decrease stress. Ever noticed how cathartic an hour thwacking punching bags can be after a crapola day at work? That’s because exercise, like laughing, unleashes a squad of beta-endorphins that lower blood pressure and boost your immune system. Ahh, yes.
3. They reduce pain. Yes, this sounds a little contradictory, especially considering how when I’m holding the warrior pose too long I feel nothing but pain. However, endorphins share properties similar to morphine in handling pain. Woah!
4. They diminish signs of depression. It’s like that famous line from Legally Blonde, “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands, they just don’t.” Neurotransmitter serotonin controls how endorphins are made. Serotonin is also the brain’s natural antidepressant. Get it?
5. They help make sure you’ll work out again. The more you experience the wonder of endorphins, the more likely you’ll be to lace up your running shoes. Although not scientifically addictive, the positive effects of endorphins can get a girl bouncing back for more on the regular. This probably helps explain how some folks can become real cardio zealots. I envy these people.
What do you like best about endorphins? Did you have a resolution to work out more? If so, how’s that going?