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Exercise to Build Endorphins

Most people are surprised to hear that the human body produces something akin to morphine. It is even more surprising that you can produce this mood altering yet organic substance by grabbing a pair of running shoes and going for a jog in the park. Endorphins are a mood-elevating substance that can reverse the effects of depression. Endorphins are actually polypeptides that bond to neurotransmitters in a way that can block pain. Physical pain is not the only thing that endorphins treat, but they can also deal with the emotional pain and agitation that accompanies depression. When your body produces endorphins, you will feel relaxed long after your run or swim.

Fitness is not only popular, but is good way of producing endorphins and fighting depression. The endorphins can block feelings of hopelessness and helplessness and can treat some symptoms of depression, such as insomnia and lack of appetite. In addition, those suffering from depression will feel better about themselves knowing that they are accomplishing something good for them and are taking an active role in their treatment.

To release an optimum amount of endorphins to alleviate depression, you will need to bike, swim, run or do aerobics for an extended period time. A brief 20 minute workout will raise your metabolism and burn calories, but it will not produce the kind of endorphins that are produced by a long, slow run. Endorphins also produce “runners high” and will give you second wind, which will help you complete a long workout.