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Endorphins, pleasure hormone and anti-stress

Endorphins, pleasure hormone and anti-stress

The natural hormone for athletes

Endorphins, or endomorphins, are released by the brain, more specifically through the pituitary gland in stressful situations, both psychological and physical, but more so during and after exercise, it is a natural anti-stress drug.
This inner morphine (produced by the organism) contains a molecular structure close to opioids. Once secreted, it spreads to the central nervous system, body tissues and blood and produces beneficial effects against anxiety and depression. Endorphins are the happiness hormone for a runner. 


When and how is endorphins secreted?

The amount of endorphins increases during exercise and reaches 5 times the rest values, after 30 to 45 minutes after stopping the effort. The level of endorphins is directly related to the intensity and duration of exercise, but it is also related to physical activity.
Endurance sports are the most productive of endorphins. Running, biking, swimming, snowshoeing, indoor sports, cardio training (rowing, treadmill); But also aerobics, steps, interval training activities, athletics, soccer training, rugby, basketball or handball.

The limits of sport in the face of depression

Be careful not to assign imaginary or unlimited virtues to sports. Because exercise reduces the external manifestations of mild or moderate depression, especially through the release of endorphins that cause pleasure and joy, but it does not in any way allow the avoidance of psychological treatment.

Sports and medicine are effective temporary crutches in the face of psychological conflicts or manifestations of anxiety, the root causes of which can only be determined through a psychotherapeutic approach. A therapeutic psychiatric interview with a qualified clinical psychologist is a unique condition that cannot be replaced by any other situation or by any other good-faith alternative.  

5 effects of endorphin secretion

·                     Ecstasy effect:

Athletes describe this particular situation as a moment of euphoria, spirituality, strength and grace, an unknown movement and a temporary vision of perfection that makes you float in a reality that is not yours. Long distance runners are talking about ecstasy. As this state of serenity continues after stopping and contributes to overall stress reduction but also to the loss of belly fat; Cortisol secretion is no longer the main cause of overweight,

·                     Anxiolytic effect:

The recognized anxiolytic effect of morphine also applies to endorphins. Within certain limits, regular athletes are less susceptible to stress unlike non-athletes, but to reduce anxiety and depression, a sports program must be implemented at least 70% of the maximum heart rate, that's for at least 20 minutes. This anxiolytic effect lasts for 2 to 6 hours. Endorphins are not the only ones involved. There are also other neurological medications, especially  Serotonin  , which also play an active role against depression. 

·                     Analgesic effect:

Like morphine, it is widely used in medicine for its analgesic effects during pain, endorphins have the same properties. It behaves similarly by blocking certain receptors to prevent the transmission of pain signals and reduce the feeling of pain. They raise the threshold of pain and this effect lasts 4 hours after their release. By discouraging muscle or tendon pain during exercise, athletes can maintain their performance, but unfortunately, some signs of coronary pain or heart attack can also be hidden due to this secretion of endorphins, which can have serious repercussions. 

·                     Anti-fatigue effect:

To allow the body to adapt to stressful situations inherent in intense physical activity, endorphins alter the functions of the heart and respiratory system. In other words, it limits shortness of breath to exertion and exhaustion.

·                     Dependence on sports:

Ordinary athletes are often defined as addicted to sports. One athlete says. When I find myself forced to stop training after an injury, I feel bad for myself. I feel like someone else. In this case, to ease this feeling of inferiority, I find alternatives: exercise bike or weight training in the gym. Another describes this discomfort: since the age of 20, I have been training for an hour a day. When I run, I feel happy and calm and free from all of my concerns. It is a drug. When I stop, as I do now, I suffer from undue pain all over my body. I am worried, in a bad mood and I cannot control this excessive irritation .. I have to run.  
The obvious question is whether endorphins create a physical dependence effect similar to that of morphine. On this point, specialists are reassured: this is unthinkable, because endorphins are rapidly destroyed by body enzymes. It is psychological dependence. Athletes are closely related to the feelings of well-being and pleasure that their activity provides. They have a very strong emotional relationship with her which can hardly be cut. So what are you waiting for, wear  shorts and start running ? 

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