Exercise – A Natural ‘High’

5 weeks ago I decided enough was enough! I had put on way too much weight, was starting to feel unfit and figured it was time to quit with the excuses. I had been convincing myself that I was too busy for anything more than an occasional late evening walk around near my home. Also, those walks had largely stopped as well because it was pretty cold at night.

So, I set out to join a gym. I paid my membership fee and set a target of four times a week. Now, to be brutally honest the first 7 or 8 times I went I really wondered what kind of masochistic, fools idea this was. The exercising really hurt, felt thoroughly unpleasant. It also tired me out, so I was starting to feel it a bit with my work. My left knee put up a strong protest, objecting to the fact that I was subjecting it to such strenuous exertion whilst carrying more weight than it had been used to in the past.

But, I stuck with it.

Then in the third week something started happening. I started to get faster on the treadmill, the pain in my knee evaporated and I started to feel a sense of contentment after each session. This was something I hadn’t felt in a long time, but was all too familiar. For want of a better name, they call it ‘runner’s high’. It’s a mild sense of euphoria and well-being. It’s great to have around as it puts a more positive hue on all aspects of life. Moreover, it was like being reunited with an old friend as this feeling had been a welcome and regular part of my life years ago that somehow had slipped out of my life.

With the bit of knowledge I had, my first reaction was to “welcome back those endorphins”. So, I was fascinated to read this piece from the New York Times in which scientists have uncovered that we’ve been giving all the credit to endorphins wrongly for the ‘runners high’. So, from here on, I need to get used to thanking my endocannabinoid system for the feeling of wellbeing after exercise:

New York Times article

In the meantime, my weight is dropping slowly, but steadily. I feel like I have more energy and I’m enjoying those natural highs. Makes me wonder why I got out of the habit and determined to keep it up in the coming months.


One Response

  1. Not many realize but its an experienced fact that exercise also develops confidence in a person.

    I suppose, exercise leads to all/most cells in body getting properly energized which in turn leads to better feeling all the time and which automatically develops confidence.

    Good Luck and never stop. Your health is not important for you…it is for your kids.


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