Runners high is something that I never thought was real. In fact, it’s something I deliberately avoided. “I am not a runner,” I’d think to myself as I saw runners trot around my neighborhood. Those people wear super short shorts and the neon… oh the neon.
After taking an office job I realized in my adulthood that I was going to have to find something I could do to exercise my wild side, or I would surely die. I found myself on trail after trail in complete bliss, because although I’d forgotten – I AM a runner.
When I was younger, I did what most of us do (and by “us” I mean the skaters, the boarders, the trail runners, you know… the nutzos) – I got wild. As a result of that, I can say that I have tried most available recreational street drugs, more than once. I had a blast!
At 34, I seek a new high. One a little more sustainable. After all, live fast die young doesn’t really make sense in your mid-30’s now does it?
Now that the drunken bar fights are a thing of the past. The long days of being strung out are over. And the bruises and battle scars aren’t coming as often as I’d like… I have to find a better way to satisfy myself because the bottom line is this: I am no longer am willing to risk everything to feel that way I used to feel.
Top 5 Reasons to RUN
#5 It Improves Reaction Time.
There is a BIG difference between running on a treadmill, running on a track and running on a trail. You can count on the terrain to constantly change when you are out there on the trail – even if it’s the same one you always run! In order to successfully run a trail you’ve going to need to make tiny tweaks and slight adjustments at any moment in order to keep moving forward. The result is razor sharp reaction time. Take THAT to your next basketball game or hell… even your next date. You’ll be on point every time.
#4 You Get New Shoes.
I have a serious shoe problem. The collection has bled far out of my closet into my bedroom, living room and additional storage spaces including my parents’ garage. Google search “Running Shoes” yourself and take a look.
#3 It Requires a Companion.
One thing that is new to my running game is a new dog. That’s right! I have NOT purchased a dog. Hahahaha! Though I would have liked to I have too many pets already for my lease agreement. BUT… my Mom has a dog and she’s awesome. This animal is a breed most commonly used to hunt raccoons, bears and cougars. It’s is very, very sure-footed and confident on the trail. She is by far the best possible running partner I could have. She does not talk. She does not distract me. She is 100% in step and in spirit with me. I cannot keep her myself, but feel truly grateful for my parents purchase.
#2 You Get Smarter.
When I am running I am clear headed. There are NO thoughts it is just prana and the present moment. Without that time, I really feel like everyday life would be too much noise. And that time translates to more patience, more strength, more understanding and more brain power when it comes to everything else I take on.
#1 You Get High.
Looking for a guide to the great trail runs in the Pacific Northwest? Checkout this piece we put together.
The #1 reason to run is YOU GET HIGH. When I get off the mountain from running I can’t think. I can’t see, and I am happy. I am also pouring out sweat, which means that my body is releasing all types of stored toxins – something that often results in a strange body-high. Additionally, for the 45 minutes after a few miles on a trail, I could probably take your head off – or at least I feel like I could. That has been scientifically linked to something called runners high.
It is associated with feelings of reduced anxiety and a lessened ability to feel pain. German researchers are linking this “high” with the flood of β-endorphins, opioid peptides (a fancy name for brain chemicals) into your blood stream after a run or other prolonged aerobic workout.
How Runners High Works:
• Running exercise increases blood levels of both β-endorphin (an opioid) and anandamide (an endocannabinoid).
• Cannabinoid receptors produce a feeling of anxiolysis (less anxiety) and analgesia (numbness to pain) after running.
• Anxiolysis depends on intact cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1) receptors on forebrain GABAergic neurons and pain reduction on activation of peripheral CB1 and CB2 receptors.
• The endocannabinoid system is crucial for two main aspects of a runner’s high. (1)
You can get high when you want to. Hit the trail!