by Lindsay Kent
Countless pieces of literature, including but not limited to blog posts, magazines, and health reports all talk about the magical “runner’s high,” a euphoric feeling that takes place during and after exercise due to endorphins that get produced in the brain’s hypothalamus and pituitary gland. These endorphins are similar in structure to the drug morphine and are linked to the body’s reward circuits. This is why exercise is so important for mind, body, and spirit, but research has begun to show that it may not be the actual endorphins responsible for this feeling. Endorphins cannot actually cross your blood-brain barrier, so what increases are we experiencing in the brain following exercise? In comes the Bliss Compound, which sounds amazing, right?
The name Anandamide is a derivative of the Sanskrit word, meaning “bliss,” hence the name, the Bliss Compound. This neurotransmitter helps to produce that elated, happy feeling you get from a great sweat session, and deficiencies in Anandamide can lead to anxiety and depression. Anandamide is also in chocolate, which is why we often reach for a tasty treat when we are feeling stressed, emotional, tired, or sad.
Studies indicate that the Bliss Compound may be responsible for the increases in a protein called Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) which helps to not only preserve brain cells but activate brain cells to convert new neurons and effectively make your brain grow larger! Increases in Anandamide could mean increases in brain power!
While exercise has so many proven benefits including weight loss, body fat reduction, and disease prevention, keeping your emotional and mental health balanced and healthy is so important as well, and can be accomplished through your sweat sessions! It’s important to note that Anandamide gets broken down rather quickly, so keeping your exercise regime consistent and scheduling both training sessions and recreational activity every week is a must!
Aim to complete this circuit 2-3 times for a metabolic effect, and
Remember to increase weight, repetitions or time if you need more of a challenge!
For the ultimate challenge, complete another round of the workout!
Yours in health and fitness,
ISSA CES Professor, Master Trainer, Spokesmodel, Fitness Editor/Writer, NPC Figure Competitor
Lindsay Kent loves helping others to strive to be their best selves physically, mentally and emotionally, and is continually inspired to work with others change their lives through sharing her passion and knowledge. Lindsay believes that anyone can improve their lives and find their true self-worth and purpose, and she loves being an integral part of that journey. Lindsay is a Professor for the International Sports Sciences Association’s College of Exercise Science, and runs her own online training business, Lindsay Kent Fitness. She is an ISSA Master Personal Trainer which comprises several specialty areas, and is a current Spokesmodel for the ISSA and has been featured as the spotlight trainer and fitness professional in top fitness mags such as Oxygen and Muscle and Fitness Hers. She also writes columns and features for various fitness publications while also working as a fitness editor. Lindsay currently competes as an NPC figure competitor.
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