The Feel Good Factor of Exercise

I’m back in the pool finally. It took a few days of 100plus temps to convince me it was hot enough to go for a swim. Right now I alternate between 40-50 minutes of non-stop swimming, or splitting my time–20 minutes on the stationary bike and 20 minutes of swimming.  Now that I’m swimming more, I’ve cut out my weights workout. Swimming for me is mostly an upper body workout.

But what I’ve been musing about for quite a while is that “feel good factor.” After any kind of exercise, I feel good. I feel stronger, younger, not so lame. And I always wonder, is is truly a physical feeling, or is it more of an emotional response to having worked out? Or do I feel emotionally well because I actually DO feel physically more fit? Do you know what I mean?

And I realized as I wrote this that the runners are saying “Doh.” They’ve known about the endorphin thing forever. Honestly, I don’t know if I’ve ever felt that feeling! I don’t think I workout hard enough to muster any endorphins.

But I really do like feeling that good after exercise, even if it is for a short period of time. Its a motivating factor the next time I face the drive to the gym.

Conversely, I wouldn’t be truthful if I didn’t say that there are days when I feel really bad (every joint in my body hurts–all I can chock it up to is barometric changes.) And on those days, it is just about impossible to make myself do any exercise at all. Fortunately, those days are the exception rather than the rule.

Anyway, just wanted to encourage some of you to keep on trying with the exercise. If its not enjoyable, or you feel really bad afterwards, change it up. Lighter weights, increased reps, a different machine… it took a long time for this “natural non-exerciser” to make exercise a regular and enjoyable part of her life.

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4 thoughts on “The Feel Good Factor of Exercise

  1. Believe me, there are some runs where I definitely DO NOT feel raging endorphins, LOL. But I totally get your post, and it’s a nice feeling to finish a workout and feel strong and good about yourself. I agree with your encouragement for others to keep searching for what works for them – it’s different for all of us!

  2. Biking pretty much always raises my endorphins. Well, there are those rides where I am finished and feel tired and out of shape. Not sure why I don’t get the endorphins on those occasions LOL!

  3. Oh yes, some days the only motivation is knowing that there’s an emotional uplift afterward, just for having done it. On the good days, there’s also that physical energy boost, but it’s the personal satisfaction that will get me out and moving in the humidity. 🙂

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