Exercise is a four letter word, isn’t it?
- L-e-a-p, j-u-m-p, lift, flex… :)
Sound too energetic? How about swim? Or walk.
We all know that exercise increases fitness levels and helps you lose weight. But did you know for many chronic pain sufferers, exercise can improve mood, give a general feeling of well-being and actually help control pain levels?
The reason for this is Neurotransmitters, remarkable bodily control and functioning mechanisms. One of these neurotransmitters is endorphins - powerful hormone-like substances produced in the brain that function as the body’s own natural feel good chemicals and painkillers. And scientists have discovered that during physical activities - including sex -but exercise in particular, the body releases endorphins which can produce feelings of euphoria and a general state of well-being so powerful, it can actually mask pain to the same extent as morphine can.
In addition, exercise releases adrenaline, serotonin, and dopamine which work together to make you feel good, and it decreases stress hormones such as cortisol.
The problem I’ve had recently and alluded to in recent posts, is that I’ve lost my mojo and I need motivation to exercise. I won’t beat myself up that I’ve let it slide recently because I had a good excuse having major surgery. But it's time to get back in the saddle, so to speak.
This A-Z challenge has given me a bit of a buzz again for the first time in months. Positive thinking and laughter provoke the production of endorphins, the same as taking a walk during a sunny day or meeting an artistic person does. And I can see it’s the endorphins, my natural feel-good hormones that are kicking in. The challenge has got me focused and motivated, writing again EVERY day, and with the encouragement and support I’ve received from fellow bloggers, it’s really spurred me on. THANK YOU.
I believe in exercise and the power of endorphins. Exercise has kept me out of hospital for the last ten years. And it helped me tremendously last year while I waited for surgery. TMJ pain was the most incredible pain, like no other pain I've ever suffered. And I’m sure one of the reasons I coped so well and have recovered from major surgery so quickly was because of my level of fitness and the positive outlook.
My next step is to get exercising again. It can't be a marathon, or a run at all for that matter. I can’t do anything high impact - it must be strictly non-weight bearing or it causes flare-ups - and I can’t push myself too hard or too fast for the same reasons. I can’t afford to mask pain so I will listen to my body. I know from experience that all it takes to promote those endorphins is moderate amounts of exercise to get effects.
Swimming and cycling are my thing, and Yoga is perfect as it reduces tension and stress and focuses on stretching, breathing, and motion that release negative emotions in the body.
So, there you have it – my‘E’ is for Exercise... and Endorphins.
Until another day
Bye for now
This Week in Essays
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