Can we please talk endorphins for a moment? I mentioned them last week in my blog post and then realized that, perhaps, not everyone is familiar with their super powers.
Possibly one of my favorite scenes from any movie ever is the pivotal court scene in Legally Blonde when Elle Woods defends her client, Brooke, who is accused of killing her husband. If you’re not familiar with the movie or this specific scene, you can watch it here. Most people find this defense funny and a bit ridiculous. And, even though Elle isn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer, I think she makes a pretty strong argument. While I am not sure what the statistics say on the murder rate or other crimes committed by people who exercise, I would imagine they are probably lower than those who don’t regularly exercise. Because, simply put, exercise leaves people with a strong sense of happiness.
This isn’t just caused by the confidence, stronger body and positive mindset that exercise induces. There is an actual scientific reason for why people who exercise are happy. And you don’t need a law degree, pink skirt suit or a chihuahua with a Tiffany’s collar named Bruiser to know what makes this magic happen.
Endorphins! Endorphins are the magical hormones of happiness!!!
Defined as “any of a group of hormones secreted within the brain and nervous system and having a number of physiological functions, they are peptides that activate the body's opiate receptors, causing an analgesic effect.” Or, in Elle Woods terms, endorphins are hormones that trigger an overall positive (even euphoric) feeling in your body. When you exercise, your body releases these chemicals called endorphins. They diminish your sense of pain. Act as a sedative. Help alleviate the symptoms of mild to moderate depression and anxiety. Produce feelings of bliss and euphoria. Aid in sleep. (And we all know I love sleep!) Stabilize blood pressure. And enhance your immunity. Etcetera. Etcetera.
Simply put, endorphins are amazing little suckers.
Now, if Elle Woods argument and the long list of the benefits of exercise-induced endorphins wasn’t convincing enough for you, let me quote another (completely unscientific but loveable nonetheless) source. Ellen DeGeneres is quoted as saying “Now, I’m no scientist, but I know what endorphins are. They’re tiny little magical elves that swim through your bloodstream and tell funny jokes to each other. When they reach your brain, you hear what they’re saying and that boosts your health and happiness.” And, who doesn’t know more about happiness than Ellen?! C’mon, she was the voice of Dori, people!!! Have you SEEN the Ellen Show lately?! Happiness. She’s practically an expert. An endorphin expert. And endorphins ROCK!