Yes, exercise can make you high

Many people use a good walk, run or gym workout to improve their health or improve their body shape, but did you know that exercise has positive health effects for your mind as well?   


When you exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins. Endorphins interact with receptors in your brain to trigger a positive feeling in the body and feelings of pleasure. Endorphins can also reduce your perception of pain, often known as exercise induced analgesia (pain relief). In fact, the feeling that follows a run or workout is often described as 'euphoric', and it is often accompanied by a positive and energized outlook on life more generally.


The one thing that is known for certain about endorphins is their ability to make you feel oh-so-good.


So if you are having one of those days and need a quick pick me up, Diabetes Queensland Accredited Exercise Physiologist Kathryn Kirchner shares some tips on how to put a smile on your dial:


  • The fun fifteen - try 15 minutes of a fun cardio activity, like cranking your favorite music and dancing.
  • Take a power walk - even if you only have 2 minutes, go for quick, brisk walk. This will energise you, and reduce muscle and mental fatigue.
  • Try an activity that involves relaxation training, for example yoga or tai chi.
  • Practice breathing exercises and techniques.


"Even a small increase in your physical activity levels will have a positive effect on both your body and mind," Kathryn says.


"People who make a habit of exercise often say the same thing as to why they were able to make it stick: 'It makes me feel good'."




 Image source: Google images



Editor note: Exercise and Sports Science Australia have recently launched a new 'How to Train Your Mental Health Monsters' campaign. This campaign aims to raise awareness of the importance of physical activity in maintaining good mental health and preventing and managing mental health conditions. Visit the ESSA website for further information and some great tips.