Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Endorphin Rush!

By its very nature, writing is a sedentary occupation - people most often sit in order to write. True, there have been a few who soak in a tub when they write, but their lives are often marked by sorrow (see Agatha Christie) and often, they come to a bad end (see Jean-Paul Marat), mocked by society (see Diogenes). Speaking of writing, you are still planning on coming to the reading/signing next Monday evening, right? 7 p.m. at the college auditorium. I'll look for you there!

At any rate, it was off to the gym with me. Since reaching that pivotal birthday and crossing a certain demographic threshold, I had decided that, painful as it may be, it was time to get serious about strength and cardio training. After all, I hope to be around as an eccentric goad for many decades to come, so I needed to get to work!

And work it has proven to be. I'm equipped now with a pedometer - it fits on my shoe and looks like a delicate little probation device. While I haven't yet hit 10,000 steps a day, between my Spooky-walks and using the walking track at school, I'm getting close. I've started going to water aerobics classes (which my uncoordinated self likes far more than the land-based classes - there's less chance of taking someone out by confusing left with right) which provide quite the workout, if you push yourself. Or have a drill sergeant for an instructor, as I did last night. And I went to a spinning class which was an experience. If I'd been able to figure out how to release my toes from those little clippy things, I'd have run for it!

But I understand better now all the talk about the effect of exercise on endorphins. You really DO feel miles better right after your exercise, although the next morning can be a different story. And I understand why. See what I found:

When scientists in the 1970s isolated a biochemical from a pituitary gland hormone that showed analgesic properties, Choh Li, a chemist from Berkeley, California, named it endorphin, meaning "the morphine within." . . . Prolonged, continuous exercise contributes to an increased production of endorphins . . .

"The morphine within." Who says poetry and science can't coexist?

5 comments:

Athena Smith said...

I need to get me some of that. Haha!

Unfortunately, due to my schedule I'm likely going to have to wait until summer until I can fully commit myself to any sort of exercise regime, which I've been really motivated for lately. Just counting the weeks I suppose...

Great post, btw!

Elizabeth said...

I gave myself a treadmill for New Year's...now I walk while I watch BtVS, Angel, and Firefly on DVD. So far, it's been a success! But it does take up a HUGE space in the suddenly smaller living room. Worth it, though, for the endorphins and other benefits.

Mockingbird said...

Watching Firefly while treamilling. Hmmm - I could pretend I'm fleeing from Reavers! Then again, exercise is supposed to be fun as opposed to igniting that "fight or flight" thingie.

Hmm. Must consider . . .

amnbdad said...

Exercise is good for you, but not for me. I plan to continue buying ever increasing pants sizes until eventually I just die. See ya' Monday.

Adventuress said...

Hey - I saw your review on Shelfari. Thanks!!