Friday, February 8, 2013

Runner's High... Real or Not Real? {FabHealthFriday}

Runner's High.
That euphoric feeling that long distance runners (and anybody who exercises on extreme levels) experience, sometimes after their work-out. Is it a myth? Fairy tale? Simply an idealistic bit of imagination? Real or not real?
I am a distance runner. Personally I can testify to getting the 'runner's high'. Usually, it comes after a run. At least 5-6 miles worth. I have yet to get it while dancing, biking, walking or weight-lifting.
It's hard to explain, what it feels like. I've never used drugs so I have NO clue what it's like to be on a "high". (I don't plan to find out, either!) But multiple people have claimed that runner's high is like the high acquired when taking cocaine.
In an article from the NY Times, Bill Fox, a recreational bicyclist and an I.B.M. research lab technician, says his exercise highs do not come easily.
''You've really got to work for this high,'' Mr. Fox explained, saying he usually needed two hours or more of sweaty, intense, vigorous exercise. But when the feeling comes, he said, it is just like cocaine, a drug he knows from his days as an addict. ''It has that well-being kind of feeling, that Superman kind of feeling,'' said Mr. Fox of Middletown, N.Y.
"That Superman kind of feeling."
Exactly how I would describe it. People who follow me on Facebook can tell you that I've posted numerous "running raves" about feeling like Superman at the end of a run.  It truly is an incredible sensation, and, personally, I only get it when I push myself to the limits.
It isn't predictable.
I don't get it after every run or exercise session.
Some people claim that this high is the result of endorphins being released, in the brain.
I read these three articles and found them to be very fascinating resources on the topic.
If endorphins truly are the cause of the "runner's high", and runner's high isn't merely a delusion, is it possible to get addicted to it?
 I don't know, but let me tell you, I don't plan on quitting running any time soon. *winks*
What do you think? Runner's high...real, or not real?
P.S. I apologize that this post is a day late - hopefully you will still find it useful and informative!