Aug 9, 2011
One of the best things about exercising is the endorphin release after an exercise session – like a natural high – if you are exercising correctly (intensity, distance, etc) you will know what the endorphin high is like – if a smoker (or a recently retired smoker) can focus on achieving that high it will make giving up smoking so much more rewarding.
In a March blog I talked about the endorphin release or natural high you can get from exercise. This morning on the radio I was listening to an interview with the Australian swimmer Libby Trickett – a 3 time Olympic Champion. She talked about how important that “high” was to her and how it helped combat depression. She said she had a family history of mental illness with family members suffering depression and anxiety and she now realised the greatest benefit from exercise to her was for her mental well-being .You sometimes might watch an athlete on TV and think how or why do they do it . A good example might be watching someone do a triathlon – a race that can take 2 hours and requires a participant to train 3 or 4 hours a day. I myself used to train for competitive sport up 30 hours a week – I was never tired, I never complained, I enjoyed – a lot of that was due to the endorphin release I would get each training session – I not only had great physical health but I also had great mental health – I was focused and could accomplish far more in a day than my non-sporty friends – they would always shake their head and wonder how I could get up each morning before 4am and go the pool – to me it was a no-brainer – I could never work out why they wouldn’t want to feel as good as me – you may think you options for getting high are drugs or drink but there is a safer, cheaper, healthier option. Perhaps if we focussed more on the mental benefits of exercise rather than the weight loss, etc we might get better adherence to exercise programmes.