3 Ways to Increase Your Endorphins When Exercising
Have you ever regretted a workout? Probably not!
Getting to the gym isn’t always the easiest, especially after a long day. But more times than not you’re likely to leave the gym feeling 10x better than you did walking in. That “high” you experience after working out is your body releasing a chemical called endorphins.
What are endorphins?
Endorphins are known as your body’s “natural pain killer.”
According to the Cambridge Dictionary, endorphins are a chemical naturally released in the brain to reduce pain. In large amounts, they can make you feel relaxed or full of energy.
Fun fact: scientists didn’t actually discover endorphins until the 70s when researching heroin and morphine addiction, which affect similar receptors in the brain.
The production of endorphins can be triggered by things such as exercising, massages and even eating chocolate. Exercise is known to be one of the best ways to trigger those happy hormones for long-term health benefits.
How do endorphins work?
Your body’s central nervous system produces endorphins. Since it is a response to stress, you have to get your body to experience a “pain point” to get that release. Exercise stimulates the production of endorphins which then relieves symptoms of pain and distress.
Benefits of endorphins
Using exercise as a way to release endorphins has a number of health benefits, including:
- Reduced anxiety and depression
- Improved self esteem
- Improved sleep
- Improved focus
- Boosts immune system
- Helps manage chronic pain
3 ways to increase your endorphin release when exercising
The release of endorphins differs by the intensity of your exercise. Here are 3 ways to increase your endorphin release in your exercise routine this week:
1. Add a 10-15 minute HIIT circuit to the end of your workout
HIIT is a form of high intensity exercise that challenges your body and, if done properly, will put you at that “pain point” for endorphins to release. High intensity workouts are rough in the midst of it, but afterwards you’ll often feel a high, which is your body releasing endorphins!
2. Exercise with a friend
Working out with a friend can challenge you to push yourself more than you would exercising alone. When you push your limits and challenge yourself, your body reaches that “pain point” mentioned earlier, which stimulates the release of endorphins!
3. Sit in the sauna post-workout
As the heat from the sauna increases your body temperature, it increases your heart rate as well. This method of increasing your heart rate differs from a strenuous HIIT work or such. Instead it relaxes the body, increases circulation and allows your muscles to rest all while stimulating the release of endorphins!