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Best excercises to achieve endorphin highs?

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  • Best excercises to achieve endorphin highs?



    I see exercising as something I have to do to stay healthy, not as a source of enjoyable fun.


    I have friends who get a lot of physical pleasure out of exercising (which I would attribute to endorphins), but that has never happened to me. I usually have to force myself into it.


    Does any of you guys know of any sports which are particularly effective in promoting endorphin highs?

    “Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.” -Oscar Wilde
    "The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." -George Bernard Shaw
    "The trouble with jogging is that the ice falls out of your glass." -Martin Mull

  • #2
    1



    Well there is.... oh, I guess you mean outside the bedroom?

    The "Seven Deadly Sins"

    • Grains (wheat/rice/oats etc) . . . . . • Dairy (milk/yogurt/butter/cheese etc) . . . . .• Nightshades (peppers/tomato/eggplant etc)
    • Tubers (potato/arrowroot etc) . . . • Modernly palatable (cashews/olives etc) . . . • Refined foods (salt/sugars etc )
    • Legumes (soy/beans/peas etc)

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    • #3
      1



      Dance. By far and wide, the most intense endorphin highs...

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      • #4
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        Sorry. I'm one of the guy's enjoying it!

        Tabata sprints last night, felt like "the king of the world"

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        • #5
          1



          I've been reading a bit and it would seem that endorphin release is linked to low levels of pain and physical stimulation that last for over 30 minutes (Tarlach you seem to be having a lot of fun in there).


          It would appear that the release of endorphins comes to aid the subject involved in continuous and strenuous exercising (long prey chase, escaping from a predator?)


          The above being said, it makes sense to see why eating spicy food, or receiving acupuncture might trigger endorphins as well.


          And this might also explain the "spiritual" highs in yoga. If you traction a set of tendons for a long time through strange positions while feeling pain, you'll very likely get your endorphins shot.


          Conclusions:


          - anything that gives you suffering and pain for prolonged periods of time will very likely result in an endorphin high.

          - yoga masters are akwardly flexible as a result of perpetually exercising their endorphin gluttony.

          “Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.” -Oscar Wilde
          "The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." -George Bernard Shaw
          "The trouble with jogging is that the ice falls out of your glass." -Martin Mull

          Comment


          • #6
            1



            I find anything that allows you to feel a real sense of achievement. such as 100 burpees for time.

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            • #7
              1



              Whether or not you get a real felt endorphin response seems to be variable from person to person. My uncle and some of my cousins- all lanky ectomorphs, and I don't think that's a coincidence- get a high off running that they love, but all I get is a general sense of hating the world and everything in it. I do plenty of intense stuff, but I don't so much get a high as a satisfying sense of accomplishment out of it. And yeah, I have to force myself into it and hang on to the knowledge of how much better I feel when regularly exercising in order to keep motivated.


              My endorphines aren't broken, though- stick me in the tattoo chair long enough on a sensitive enough area and I might as well be drunk. My body's just stingy about releasing them.

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              • #8
                1



                I am a former endurance runner and triathlete so I am pretty familiar with endorphins. What gives me the most enjoyable feeling post-workout is a good kettlebell session, hands down. Not running or riding my bike or swimming or HIIT. When I am done with a kettlebell workout, I want to go out and conquer the WORLD. I often come home after kettlebell class and have to go for a run because I have so much energy!

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                • #9
                  1



                  @SerialSinner, "anyone that does yoga and feels pain is frankly doing it wrong", to paraphrase David Williams, my teacher and the man that brought Ashtanga to North America. The natural high you might be referring to is pranayama, or breathe control, its evil twin would be for example auto erotic asphyxiation. I have practiced it, the former not the latter , and it is eurphoria making. Physical yoga or asana practice is just one part of yoga on a path, it is to prepare the body for sitting so that we might meditate for longer periods without being aware of aches and pains and to focus with a clearer mind. Forcing the body into poses that it isnt ready for is completely unacceptable.

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                  • #10
                    1



                    Shelby thats very interesting. I did a quick check online and couldn't find any neurological explanation for the G-rated meditation high. I'm sure it's there somewhere though.


                    But what I wonder is, if the whole high comes from breathing alone, then why the need to adopt awkward positions while doing it?

                    “Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.” -Oscar Wilde
                    "The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." -George Bernard Shaw
                    "The trouble with jogging is that the ice falls out of your glass." -Martin Mull

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      1



                      Amen on the tats, LabRat. That's my endorphin high of choice. Getting another one on tuesday.

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                      • #12
                        1



                        SS..... pranayama is practiced seated and is mind focused on breathe exercises, the physical and mental relaxation is profound (and you dont get the residue feeling that grass affords). then there is the meditation in motion which comes from a flowing or vinyasa style yoga practice, one breathes whilst holding abdominal locks (bandhas), which is a practice unto itself, and prana or chi begins to build up, produces alot of heat and energy and is released at the end of the practice when one is in corpse pose, the waves of energy can be quite overwhelming. I used to think it was crap till I experienced it myself. Its only lore, but I am convinced that yoga became more popular from the sixties onwards in the west because people were looking for natural alternatives to drugs, and if my teachers are anything to go by I would say that holds true .


                        the awkward positions you refer to , might I suggest that is a somewhat relative term, as a beginner no one expects you to do advanced or finished postures unless you have been in the cirque du soleil, or are around age 6. You would be surprised at what you can accomplish after a short amount of time, but then yoga is all about leaving your ego off the mat . Evolution, union of mind and body in the present is the goal. To me, meditation is just about being in the present, dance class, speed chess, gardening, anything that gives you a holiday from your mind and leaves you feeling refreshed mentally. You dont really need yoga or meditation to achieve that.


                        Diana, tattoos are addictive for sure.

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                        • #13
                          1



                          Diana- the big revelation to me is that your threshold of and tolerance for pain are a trainable response just like strength and speed. Who knew?

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                          • #14
                            1



                            Thanks Shelby, I think it might be worth giving Yoga a try. While I'm reasonably fit and strong, I'm extremely inelastic. I'm laughing just from picturing myself.


                            Anyway, still wondering why the high seems to be necessarily tied to a given position/s. Is it possible to get the same high while, let's say, sitting in a normal chair, or laying on a bed?

                            “Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.” -Oscar Wilde
                            "The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." -George Bernard Shaw
                            "The trouble with jogging is that the ice falls out of your glass." -Martin Mull

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              1



                              Since Tarlach already started to go there but hesitated... The S&M community knows what their doing in the endorphin release department. Not surprisingly, a German researcher (just read a blurb about it didn't read the whole paper) published about using spanking as part of depression therapy to alleviate symptoms. Endorphins are natural pain killers, they exist to aid the body in dealing with pain amongst other things.


                              In the evolutionary perspective of necessary survival tactics like hunting prey it would be beneficial to dampen pain from crouching or sprinting or even small injury. Though on the latter it can be argued that masking pain from injury is a sure way to get yourself into a position where you aren't a desirable mate therefore can't jump on the evolutionary party wagon.


                              As to exercise and endorphin release. I'm sure there is a physiological mechanism that is unique to certain characteristics, like the ectomorphic body-type and runners. If I ever get time I'll see what I can find in the literature. But for now I think its a matter of finding the physical activities which produce this reaction for you. For me its mountain biking and rock climbing...then again that could have something to with the possibility of plummeting from a mtn to my death

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