Endorphins are one of the latest buzzwords when it comes to exercising, but what are endorphins, and why do we need them? Read on to find out about these bringers of a ”natural high.”
The traditional benefits of exercise have been to improve and maintain physical fitness, as well as helping to prevent diseases such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes. In addition, exercise is great for your mood throughout the day.
What are Endorphins?
Exercise decreases stress hormones, such as cortisol, and increases endorphins. Endorphins are the body’s natural feel-good chemicals, and when they are released through exercise, your mood is boosted naturally. Exercise also releases adrenaline, serotonin, and dopamine. These chemicals work together to elevate your mood.
Endorphins are defined as hormone-like substances that are produced in the brain and react as the body’s natural painkillers. During exercise, these endorphins are released, and this can produce feelings of euphoria and a general state of well-being. The endorphins produced can be so powerful that they actually mask pain. Physically active people recover from mild depression more quickly, and physical activity is strongly correlated with good mental health as we age.
Types of Exercise to Release Endorphins
The best type of exercise for improving your mood is cardiovascular exercise and aerobics. This vigorous exercise helps to release the chemicals necessary for the mood-raising high. Pilates or stretching exercises are also good, as they reduce tension and stress while boosting your mood. Focus on stretching, breathing, and motion that release negative emotions in the body.
How Long Do You Need to Exercise to Feel the Benefit?
Even if you only exercise for a short period of time, your mood will be improved. Just twenty minutes of moderate exercise is enough to renew vigor and decrease fatigue. However, to obtain all the benefits from exercise, not just the mood improving aspects, you should do at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise every day.
How are you challenging yourself? This summer at Lucille Roberts, we have lots of fun classes such as Dance Aerobics, Chick Boxing, F.I.T. Boot Camp, which will raise your levels of adrenaline and keep stress away.