At our HeartBeats Yoga workshop this weekend, I talked about “ENDORPHINS” – the happy hormones that are produced when we exercise hard enough to get our hearts pumping and get a little sweaty. Research shows that endorphins boost happiness (yes – beat the winter blahs!!), reduce stress levels, decrease joint pain, enhance your immune system and reduce appetite. Pretty amazing, eh?
People who run are familiar with a “runner’s high” – that positive emotional state brought on by a surge in their endorphin levels. But you don’t have to be a runner to boost your endorphins – any activity that gets your heart rate up for a sustained period of time will achieve the same end.
So, what exactly are endorphins? To be more accurate, endorphins are really brain chemicals known as neurotransmitters. There are at least 20 different types of endorphins, which are found in the pituitary gland, in other parts of the brain and throughout your nervous system.
Endorphins are a natural, non-addictive and healthy way to elevate your mood, beat the winter blahs and get fit. Whether its one of my HeartBeats yoga classes, running, snowshoeing, cross country skiing, Zumba, BellyFit – whatever – get your heart rate up and feel the joy that comes from exercise and endorphin boosts!