Friday, July 17, 2009

Euphoria

Not that "euphoria" but I couldn't make a post with said title without referencing one of the best episodes of Beverly Hills 90210 of all time.

Seriously, I'm back from a long walk (I conquered every nook and cranny of the neighborhood for the first time, 75 minutes of sweaty glory) and I feel amazing, definitely euphoric. I was surprised to find out that not everyone gets that post exercise high, though. The hike on Sunday, which gave me a great high, left my husband napping on the couch. My friend Lisa says that while workouts truly energize her day, she doesn't get euphoric. It got me thinking. While everyone can certainly benefit from daily exercise, why doesn't every experience post-workout euphoria?

I wonder if it's because of my predilection toward food addiction and junk food binging. You've heard me talk about the good feelings associated with the serotonin dump that comes immediately after gorging on a super-sized fast food meal or an entire box of Twinkies. I get a similar, and to be totally honest way better, feeling post and sometimes even during my workouts. And the feeling lasts so much longer than the serotonin dump with none of the guilt and ugly mood swings associated with junk food.

I'm not a brain chemist but I thought it was an interesting question. Exercise releases endorphins that cause a general feeling of well being, but I wonder why each brain experiences it differently. I'm not sure if there have been studies done on the subject, but I think it's worth a look.

What sort of feelings (other than thank goodness I'm done) do you experience after your daily exercise? Do you get euphoric, energized, or just a mellow feeling well being?

3 comments:

  1. You have lost so much weight!!! look at your top picture! I am so proud of you! I've been following your blog for a few months. you're funny. I love it!

    When I work out (btw, I LOVE working out!!) I actually get energized. When I don't work out, I'm lethargic and the moment I go for a walk/jog, I am full of energy. :) My body feel oxygenated, my muscles loose, my body full of energy. I Love the feeling exercise gives me. I don't always love the exercise (dot dot dot) BUT I love the aftermath of the exercise. :)

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  2. I've never got any kind of high from exercising. It's kind of a bummer, because I definitely get endorphin rushes from other things- not so much food, bur gaming and other things in my past that were definitely not good for me.

    Binge eating had a sedative effect on me. I no longer binge but I haven't found a good way to replace the (temporary) feeling of calm I got from it. It wasn't worth the guilt and shame I'd feel later, anyway.

    Nowadays exercising makes me feel truly awful- I put it down to fibromyalgia, but on the other hand, I know someone else with fibro who gets relief from regular exercise.

    I also know someone who went from totally sedentary to running a marathon in 18 months (losing about 150lbs in the process). She did a programme called "Couch to 5k" and got addicted to running. I envy her, but having tried the same programme without success (and certainly not lacking motivation), I can only conclude that every body is different, and some of us truly aren't wired for exercise euphoria.

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  3. Thanks for stopping by, Leila! I'm glad you're enjoying the blog, I enjoy it, too and it's helped me so much. I'm looking forward to hiking the mountain again on Sunday morning.

    Sorry to hear that, Lili. Let me ask you, how often do you exercise and what kind? Have you looked into gentle workouts that are specific for your condition?

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