New Lily

Endorphins Are Important This Time of Year

As I write this, I am feeling the after-effects of an early morning run with my friends Karrie and Susan…I feel calm, sharp, and ready for the day. Most of us know that exercise can help to calm us down, and  during the Christmas holidays, calmness is a rare emotion for many of us. Certain forms of exercise (jogging, cross country skiing, swimming, hiking, bicycling) require a fairly consistent repetitive motion that can alter one’s state of consciousness.  Described by some as “moving meditation”, the physiological effects of regular participation in these activities is very similar to what happens when one practices meditation.  Breathing and movement act as a mantra and may in part be responsible for the feelings of calmness and tranquility claimed by some in response to exercise. Physical activity also revs up our endorphins, our brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters. Although this function is often referred to as a runner’s high, any workout that raises our heart rate and is over 30 minutes can boost the endorphins. These endorphins go a long way to bring us a little peace of mind, to calm us, and to improve our mood. They have even been known to lower symptoms associated with mild depression. [Read more…]