Happy Thursday, readers! I thought the quote above was appropriate for the topic of today’s post – exercise!
Now, before you roll your eyes and “x out” in an attempt to escape yet another exercise loving, adrenaline junkie post, let me tell you that I DON’T like exercising. It is truly something that I have to push myself to complete. I hate having to wear smelly clothes, make the time to get up early in the morning, and shower after I get all sweaty.
Despite my annoyances at exercising, I have found that the cons are extremely outweighed by the pros. During my Baylor years, I developed a regular fitness routine and was shocked at how much of a difference it made in my daily life. I found myself happier, sleeping better, less stressed, and able to think more clearly when studying or making hard decisions. What I felt can be attributed to endorphins. What are endorphins, you might ask? See below.
When you exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins. These endorphins interact with the receptors in your brain that reduce your perception of pain.
Endorphins also trigger a positive feeling in the body, similar to that of morphine. For example, the feeling that follows a run or workout is often described as “euphoric.” That feeling, known as a “runner’s high,” can be accompanied by a positive and energizing outlook on life.
Endorphins act as analgesics, which means they diminish the perception of pain. They also act as sedatives. They are manufactured in your brain, spinal cord, and many other parts of your body and are released in response to brain chemicals called neurotransmitters. The neuron receptors endorphins bind to are the same ones that bind some pain medicines. However, unlike with morphine, the activation of these receptors by the body’s endorphins does not lead to addiction or dependence.
 WebMD – Exercise and Depression: