Now I don’t know about you, but I’m not a person who exercises to keep fit. It all seems far to sweaty for me but I know that there are many millions of people out there who get a great kick out of doing physical exercise. I will often hear my exercise loving friends spouting out this notion of getting a buzz every time they have finished their ridiculously long run when they should be rolling around on the floor in a pool of melted muscles.
Still it seems as though their might be some truth to this exercise hit that people get. First of all lets talk about some of the physical effects that exercise can have on the body. When you do strenuous exercise the big 3 pleasure hormones are released dopamine, endorphins and serotonin. This is to combat any pain that your body might experience because of muscle atrophy and it is also what causes the ‘runners high’.
So then why don’t these people exercise all day long if its giving them such a rush. Well according to research performed by Cheryl et al, 2001 found that there is an optimum level for the amount of exercise that anyone should be doing in a day and that is around about 30 minutes. The results also showed that when you exercise for up to 20 minutes you get an increase in vigor and reduced feelings of confusion, fatigue and negative mood. After 30 minutes these effects were not seen to increase any further.
The affects of exercise are not just short term either, it has also been found that regular exercise can have increased benefits to your psychological well-being in general. You might imagine that people who exercise will have increased confidence in their self body image and this in turn might lead to them having more confidence with the opposite (or sometimes same) sex.
But several studies sited in the Cheryl et al study found that long term exercise can also help to manage anxiety, depression, anger, tension, reaction to stress and self esteem. This is also linked to the relaxing feeling some people get when they are exercising when they are doing the exact opposite of relaxing. When you get into that steady rhythm of running or rowing it can relieve the stress of daily life and cause similar effects to those of meditation or religious experiences.
So Perhaps we should all break out that exercise bike gathering dust in the garage or the cycling shorts that barely fit and run ourselves into a state of well being. Do you receive ‘runners high’ when you exercise? Let us know in the comments section.