Endorphins are chemicals that are able to cross through the gaps between neurons in order to pass along a message from one to the next. There are many different kinds, and much remains to be learned about their different purposes and functions.
What do endorphins do? They have the amazing ability to make you feel oh-so-good. When your body is subjected to certain stimuli like sex, food or pain (hard workouts!), your hypothalamus calls for endorphins, and the cells throughout your body that contain them block the pain signals and also produce a euphoric feeling.
Endorphins act as both a painkiller and as the pay-off for your body’s reward system. When you hurt yourself (or eat a hot chili pepper), you may get a big dose of endorphins to ease the pain.
Exercise stimulates endorphin production as well, but for a different reason. You’re probably familiar with the term “runner’s high,” which refers to the euphoric feeling one sometimes gets when exercising. Researchers have found that light-to-moderate weight training or cardiovascular exercise doesn’t produce endorphins, only heavy weights or training that incorporates sprinting or other anaerobic exertion.
When your body crosses over from an aerobic state to an anaerobic state, it’s suddenly operating without enough oxygen to satisfy the muscles and cells screaming out for it. This is when the “runner’s high” occurs. This is simulated in the gym through intense workouts that you guys love so much! Cause not everyone is going to run hard:) (i.e. 6-8 miles at 7 min pace)
Endorphins are very important for rewarding you for your efforts! Without that immediate payoff you would be (A LOT) less likely to come back and maintain that beautiful body/health! Remember that when you’re doing your workout… Push harder now… Reap the immediate rewards of pleasure cells streaming throughout your body right after:)