Are endorphins related to the famous “runners high”?
In contrast to short-intensity workouts like sprinting or weightlifting, prolonged, continuous exercise like running, long-distance swimming, aerobics, cycling or cross-country skiing appears to contribute to an increased production and release of endorphins. This results in a sense of euphoria that has been popularly labeled the “runner’s high.” It also may contribute to what some athletes call a “second wind.” Rather than feeling pain and exhaustion while running, endorphins may help us actually feel limber and energized towards the end of a race. According to William Straw, M.D., a team physician for the San Jose Sharks, “at some point you may feel a little more energetic and you can kick-in when you did not feel like you could kick-in before.” Q: Is a prescribed amount of exercise needed before endorphins are released? A: Endorphins release varies according to the individual: one runner may have an endorphin rush (experienced as a second wind) after running for ten minutes, while a