Endorphins Make Exercise Easier to Endure

By Kristine Auble

Image by Nathan Rennich
Image by Nathan Rennich

After persevering through the pain and staying strong through the sweat, most students attribute their post-workout happiness to an overwhelming sense of accomplishment, but their spirits are actually being lifted by something else.

There is something about completing a long run, maxing out on the leg press, or finishing a tough set of sit-ups that just makes students feel invincible. This “something” is actually endorphins, which are generated while people workout, acting as the body’s natural pain relievers.

They are produced in response to everything a person deals with during their workouts: stress and pain.

These chemicals deliver an alleviating sensation of euphoria throughout the body. As neurotransmitters in the nervous system, endorphins interact with receptors in the brain to block pain and control emotion.

During their vigorous exercises, students tend to experience what experts call a “runner’s high.” As they reach their threshold of endorphin release, they no longer feel fatigued or exhausted.

Students struggling through a difficult day at the gym find that their endorphins make working out much more tolerable

Although these helpful chemicals make workouts easier to bear, staying motivated at the gym is still a difficult task for most students. They have to find their own ways to avoid a tedious routine and entertain themselves during a strenuous workout.

Group fitness classes are one of the ways students are able to have a good time, while still getting in a good workout, Stephanie Giurlando, a freshman elementary education major, and Carolyn Guthrie, a freshman communications major, said.

“We took a yoga class the other day and I’ve heard the body pump classes are really good,” Guthrie said.

“The abs class we took was great too,” Giurlando added.

Other students explain that they add variety to their routines to keep from getting bored.

Switching workouts each day between lifting, swimming, and running makes working out more occupying, freshman business major Joe Kogan said.

Chandan Kittur, a senior aerospace and math double major, said he stays motivated through a workout because he looks forward to a treat afterward.

“I like to get a smoothie as a reward when I’m done,” Kittur said.

With the help of endorphins as their body’s natural pain relievers, paired with their own entertaining techniques, students complete their workouts feeling blissfully accomplished.


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