For every bad day at the office or with friends and loved ones, there is always exercise to help boost one’s mood. Post-workout bliss is kind of a real thing but it is not clear how it works for recovery. Endorphins get all the credit but there is much more going on behind the scenes. Learn more about exercise and how it can boost the brain and body.
Role of Endorphins
When the body comes under stress or experiences pain, neurochemicals called endorphins are produced in the brain’s hypothalamus and pituitary gland. Endorphins are similar to morphine in that they are considered natural painkillers because of how they activate opioid receptors in the brain. This brings feelings of euphoria and well-being which can come from eating, having sex or maternal behavior with infants and children.
Blood plasma endorphin levels increase in response to stressors and pain. Exercise can help increase the body’s endorphin levels even several minutes after a workout finishes on up to an hour post workout. The problem with jumping to conclusions about endorphins and the ‘exercise high’ is that endorphins flood the blood, not the brain. There is an assumption that if endorphin levels rise in the blood it must be happening in the brain, which is a false equivalency for some. No consistent scientific findings have been discovered which show how the ‘endorphin rush’ occurs during exercise.
What’s Really Happening
If a person becomes addicted to endorphin rushes, that might become a problem. Addiction transfer is always a possibility after dealing with the initial addiction and its effects. Studies have linked low levels of serotonin and norepinephrine to depression which is more of a solid link to post-workout feelings than evidence for endorphins. It may also reduce depression and stress. Exercise may help ward off anxiety and support better coping mechanisms with daily stressors in life.
The goal is to focus on healthier habits which build over time, rather than seeking one time thrills again and again. Exercise has the power to rejuvenate a person and build a healthier body over time. Mentally a person can feel better and may even find some spiritual support from exercise by doing yoga or other similar types of activities.
A healthy mind, body, and spirit are the best pathway to a healthy recovery. Cypress Lakes has a space for you to recharge, get away, and focus on you. Now is the time to get your head in the game of recovery, quit alcohol, drugs or other things holding you back and find the confidence and tools you need with our programs and services. Let us help you get on your feet: 877-938-1577