Cortisol vs. endorphins

More weight loss for me recorded today :)  A few days ago I was 94.4kg and today I’m 93.7kg. That means I’m almost under 200 pounds. I just seem to love getting on the scales lately.  And I find converting the amount to pounds, or calculating my new BMI (28.6) adds to my enjoyment of the results.

Today I want to post about cortisol. My understanding is pretty basic; it’s the chemical in your body that is produced when you worry, stress or are anxious. I am usually a pretty anxious person – especially in social situations – so it’s fair to say that I would often have a lot of cortisol in my system.  And this isn’t good for the body.

When you exercise you release endorphins – the feel good chemicals that make you more relaxed and carefree.

imagesNow this is probably an incredibly lame, over-simplified analogy but let’s think about it like Pacman.  We go about our lives with anxiety (ghosts) chasing us.  So what’s the answer?  Exercise (the corner pellets).  When we do good feelings are released, we become more powerful over the anxiety (ghosts), and with our new endorphins we have the power to reduce or eliminate it (them)!

Lame analogy aside, this is what happens to me.  When I walk into the gym, I usually feel anxious.  If I have to walk past one of the trainers, I might meekly say hi but I don’t have the confidence to stay around and talk.  After my workout, though, it’s a completely different story.  I’m quite happy standing around at the desk talking with them.

I wish I could have that feeling all the time…  but I think in general I am a bit more relaxed these days because of the exercise.  They say that joining a gym improves your confidence.  Well, I don’t think it’s just because you look better.  I think it really does make you feel better;  I think it’s great for your biochemistry.  And I think people underestimate how our biochemistry affects our moods.  If you’ve never experienced depression or anxiety, I guess you haven’t needed to think about it.

My sleeping pattern sucks at the moment and I’m sleeping past noon, but tomorrow I’m determined to go to circuit training at the gym at noon.  Wish me luck (getting up!)

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