Heart racing, music pumping through our headphones, and lessened ability to feel pain? Yup, that’s called Runners High. So, what is it and why do we only get it sometimes?
One thing we know is that we ALWAYS want it – and MORE of it. That feeling of euphoria mixed with reduced anxiety acts as a natural painkiller, masking tired legs and throbbing feet. Making our runs as easy and exhilarating as possible. Well, we can thank our BRAIN for this high. Once those happy brain endorphins are sparked and released we start to feel the feel-good effects known as Runners High.
The Trigger – Endorphins: These chemicals have been linked to all of those feel-good effects for decades. The greater the endorphin surge in your brain, the more you feel them.
How do you get them? Push yourself HARD, but not too hard. Endorphins act as painkillers when the body is undergoing physical discomfort. You need to find that happy medium while running. Your runs should not make you feel like your going to collapse aftwarwards.
The Trigger – Endocannabinoids: While endorphins steal most of the spotlight when we think of ‘runners high’, the body also produces a naturally synthesized version of THC. Any cell in the body is capable of making endocannabinoids, so they actually have a bigger impact on your brain and they are to thank for your feeling of calmness.
How do you get them? Well, this chemical production reacts more strongly in response to stress, but it’s hard for the body to figure out what’s the difference between physical and mental stress. That is why the same mechanism that allows you to release endorphins also triggers endocannabinoids, working out hard but not too hard!
So, know that you’re in the know, let’s aim to achieve this feeling every time we run! Happy running everyone.
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