Reach for the Stars

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Do those endorphins really work?

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Make your workout session. When you commit to your workouts you will 1. feel a sense of accomplishment by doing something you set out to do 2. become more relaxed and in better spirits and 3. continue the progress on your fitness journey.

I’ve just had one heck of a week, and it’s only Weds! News that my shoulder situation could be a by-product of an inflammation of the brachial nerves has been a downer. Last week I struggled with lack of energy, shoulder pain, muscle failure, and a myriad of small but compounding work/life stresses. Working out was the last thing on my mind, but I dragged myself to the gym and made each of my physical therapy sessions. I had to reduce weights on some exercises like my external rotations. Instead of enjoying my new progression to 5# weights, I had to back off to 4#. Notably, it was not a week of progress or breakthroughs. In fact, it pretty much felt like a week of set backs. However, despite this notion, I found myself after each workout excited and even relieved that I had achieved as much as I did. I even very nearly sent a route in the gym that is hard for me, made a new high point, when I initially thought I could barely get off the ground! That was progress and I was happy.

What does this have to do with endorphins (hormones attributed as a mood enhancer that are released when working out)?

I was talking with a friend today who has been struggling to find the time to commit to working out. She’s not a climber but she recently did her first ’14er’ (peak over 14,000 feet). She recently started working out again and commented on how she had forgotten how good it feels. She’s been going through a lot with a friend in hospice and some work challenges, but this day, she was bright and bubbly. As she remarked on her need to work out more often, she was nothing but smiles. Clearly, working out helped her mood and brightened her spirits.

Whether it’s the endorphins or it’s simply the enjoyment of achievement, it’s been proven that working out has a positive overall impact on a persons demeanor. Contrary to what you might feel or think when the moment arises, getting yourself out and making a training session, will make a difference in your quality of life. The joy might appear short lived, but the health impact is long lasting.

Tip: Make a note after a successful workout (to yourself) about how great you feel to remind you on those hard to motivate days, why it’s worth heading out.

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