Runners High: Is It Real or a Myth?

2Many people who run insist there is nothing like the feeling you get after a long run or a steady strenuous workout.  They liken the feeling to euphoria and an elevated mood.

For years science has wondered if these feelings were actually a result of the exercise, but they had no practical way to test.  Recently,  researchers in Germany using neuroscience have pinpointed the reason runners have this feeling of a high.

When you have a good run or do steady strenuous exercise your body produces more endorphins.  These endorphins flood to the brain, especially to the part of the brain that affects mood.  The increased endorphins raise the good feeling in the runner’s body.  It seems the longer your run, the more endorphins your body will produce and the more euphoric you may become.  This theory has been thought to exist for years but it has only recently been proven.

The runners high does not affect all runners the same way.  Some do not notice the euphoria, but others may notice a calm pass over their face while they are running.  The runners high reduces stress and makes some runners feel so good it is almost addicting.

Some think the running may also affect the runners pain threshold.  Some runners has been known to keep running during a heart attack or fracture simply because their tolerance for the pain was higher than normal.

One theory is this higher tolerance for pain when running came as the result of necessity years ago.  Hunters had to run long distances to gather food for their families and they needed continued their journey even through adversities.

Whatever the reason, it appears that for some people the runners high does exist and gives them that much sought after calm, wonderful feeling of euphoria.

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