Chiropractic Health & Wellness Blog

We have all heard of the runners' high. But is it

September 13, 2011
We have all heard of the runners' high.  But is it real?

Many people have described running as a mood-altering drug.  Some people say that running helps clear the mind.  Others insist that running reduces stress.  There is little scientific evidence to explain these findings that runners commonly experience.

An article in the New York Times describes the work of German neuroscientists (lead by Henning Boecker, University of Bonn) studying the runners' high.  The 2008 research shows a relationship between physical exercise and natural opioid (endorphin) activity in the brain.  The researchers used PET scans, which identifed activity in the brain in locations associated with the sense of euphoria and changes in mood.  According to the authors, it is the first time researchers have been able to support the "opioid theory" of the runners' high.

Researchers are now studying to see if runners have an increased pain tolerance due to this endorphin effect.

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