You may have heard people talking about endorphins as they relate to their exercise experience. “Runner’s high” or an “endorphin rush” are things that can happen during extended periods of intense physical activity. But what are endorphins, exactly, and how do they create these effects in your mind and body? Here’s a brief overview.

Endorphins are a class of neurotransmitter that is produced in the brain’s pituitary gland. Neurotransmitters are chemicals that either cause neurons (nerve cells) to produce a signal or inhibit a signal. There are actually at least 20 different neurotransmitters in the endorphin family, but they all have the same general function.

Endorphins act to suppress pain signals and affect one’s mood. They are produced during intense exercise to deaden the signals from your muscles as they struggle to meet the demands of the activity. Runners, for example, struggle through their first few laps before the endorphins kick in. Once that happens, it becomes easier to continue running because you don’t have to manage the pain from your muscles.

The other benefit of endorphins is the “rush” that you experience after a prolonged workout. The chemicals tend to lift your mood and produce a euphoric feeling. And since endorphins can only be produced in your body and accessed through intense activities such as exercise, the experience can be very rewarding; after all, it gives you a feeling that money can’t buy!

Endorphins are just one more reason to exercise and work toward your fitness goals. Fitness coach Mike Mckoy of Train & Believe is ready to work with you. Through online personal training and in-person fitness training services available in Fort McMurray, Mike is a fitness coach with the skills and the knowledge to help you take your abilities to the next level. Contact Train & Believe today!