ENDORPHINS MAKE YOU HAPPY
Thanks to Elle Wood we all know "Exercise gives you endorphins, endorphins make you happy".
But what exactly is it about endorphins that makes us so happy?
The short version is that endorphins are neurotransmitters - chemicals in your brain that transfer messages back and forth between neurons. When they come in contact with the opioid receptors (cells that work with painkillers to block pain signals) in your brain and spinal cord, endorphins function in the same way narcotics would. This produces the well known "runner's high" without the addictive qualities of opiates. In other words, endorphins are a natural, body-made drug with all of the highs and none of the lows.
Exercise isn't the only way to release endorphins; meditation, eating chili peppers, and acupuncture have all been known to increase your endorphin levels. Even UV light via tanning beds has reportedly increased the release of endorphins in some people. If you want to learn more about endorphins and how they work, check out this article by How Stuff Works. In the meantime, we're going to hit the tennis courts for a little boost of endorphins! Leave us a comment! What's your go-to fitness activity when you need an endorphin fix?