Wednesday, September 06, 2006

How to feel GREAT!

Have you ever wondered why people who exercise are always in a terrific mood and seem to have a zest for life?
 
Ask a marathon runner about "runners high" and she'll tell you that it's the pleasant feeling that she experiences sometimes during and after running. The great thing is that moderate exercise can produce the same effect.
 
This is not the person’s imagination or the psychological satisfaction she gets from running or exercising. A little known fact is that this is a reaction to a natural body function that occurs during exercise called endorphin release.
 
Beta-Endorphin is a neurohormone that is released into the bloodstream from the pituitary gland. Endorphins attach themselves to specific receptor sites in the brain that affect our perception of well being and in the extreme, euphoria. Their main purpose is to help the body withstand and overcome mild to severe exertion. It’s the body’s reward for doing something healthy like exercise. Endorphins tend to return a physical body function to normal: they tend to increase body temperature, but decrease it during a fever; they decrease blood pressure, only if it is elevated.
 
Endorphins may also be involved in, or regulate the release of growth hormone (GH) which is associated with muscle cell growth induced by exercise. After endorphin concentration increases, six other peptide concentrations will also change resulting in changes to other physiological functions, like appetite suppression, increased immune activity, mood, memory retention, learning and surprising sleep disturbances.
 
Just a good workout can change your life!


Angie McCarl