endorphin

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Endorphins the body's natural high

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Imagine being pleasantly euphoric with a lower stress level and having less aches and pains, lower blood pressure, and sounder sleep. You can get there without a pill.

Endorphins, endogenous opiates, produce a natural high. They are produced by the central nervous system and the pituitary gland as a response to stimuli such as pain, fear, or stress. Endorphins alleviate the discomfort associated with the exertion of exercise, and can remain elevated for hours and even into the next day.

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What really happens when you are chased by a bear

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When you are chased by a bear your body goes into a fight or flight mode. I’d recommend flight. It doesn't matter to your body; your body will call upon all its resources to survive the encounter. Your heart rate increases, your heart pumping volume increases, and your venous return increases as your body makes an all-out attempt to survive. If you survive your body will make a positive adaptation so that you are better able to survive the next encounter. From a cardiovascular fitness standpoint it would be a good idea to be chased by a bear from time to time. Barring that one could do some form of high intensity training (HIT).

As you reach flight or fight, either encountering a bear or a HIT session on a bike or in the weight room, there will be an increase in endorphins to deal with the pain caused by the exertion, and your adrenaline system will be activated resulting in another positive adaptation.

From this study Scripps Florida Scientists Unravel the Molecular Secret of Short, Intense Workouts:

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Can endorphins really alleviate pain?

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From the movie Legally Blonde: “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don't shoot their husbands, they just don't.”

From this article, Endorphins: Natural Pain and Stress Fighters:

“In addition to decreased feelings of pain, secretion of endorphins leads to feelings of euphoria, modulation of appetite, release of sex hormones, and enhancement of the immune response. With high endorphin levels, we feel less pain and fewer negative effects of stress.”

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