Ahem, now that I’ve got your attention …
We are in the middle of what is proving to be a long, tough and COLD winter It’s feeling like it’s going to last FOREVER. We’ve done all we can to embrace it, but it’s getting old. Are you feeling a bit down? Slightly depressed? Crabby? Unmotivated? Well, I’ve got the drug (actually a chemical) just for you! It’s FREE! And it’s already in your body!
So, what is it?
Endorphins. Yes, we’ve all heard of them. But what are they? Endorphins are chemicals released in your body that, when locked into certain receptor sites, block the transmission of pain creating a euphoric feeling. Endorphins act much like opiates. There are over 20 different kinds of endorphins, one type being beta-endorphins shown to be stronger than morphine. And, I want to stress once again, this is already produced and manufactured in YOUR OWN BODY! Wow!
So, how do I get me some of those endorphins? There are several ways to aid your body in releasing this wonder drug/chemical. Let me outline a few:
1. Food – Hot or spicy foods create a burning or painful sensation, in which the body reacts by releasing endorphins, causing the pain to be offset by a euphoric feeling. Sounds strange, but this may explain why spicy foods are so popular and addicting.
2. Chocolate – No one has to tell me twice that it’s ok to eat chocolate. Dark chocolate contains chemicals that promote the release of endorphins, promoting a sense of calm or well-being. One or two small squares per week should suffice, so don’t go overboard.
3. Sex – Yes, I said it. Often given a low priority, sex is one of nature’s most de-stressing activities around. It releases endorphins, and also burns calories. Bonus!
4. Laughter – How awesome do you feel after a good belly laugh? While laughter also helps reduce blood pressure and stress hormones, it also triggers the release of endorphins.
And finally ….
5. EXERCISE! – It’s no secret that physical activity stimulates endorphin production as well. After working in the fitness industry for over 22 years, I see this played-out first hand every day. Whether it’s taking a group exercise with friends, keeping the heart healthy on the cardio machines, increasing strength through weight training, or jumping in to the pool for an invigorating swim, I’m witness to endorphins being released everywhere, every day. There is a direct link between happiness and exercise. Whatever your workout, you will feel happier and healthier after a doing it.
So take time for yourself this winter and stay healthy and happy. I promise this cold winter will eventually end and Spring will arrive. But in the meantime, think ENDORPHINS, and release what nature has already provided you, from right within your very own body. Contact me Christine@phfitness.com for questions or to start an endorphin loaded exercise plan today.