lunabee34: (Default)
[personal profile] lunabee34 posting in [community profile] bodies_in_motion
*waves*

Thanks to [personal profile] rydra_wong for creating this community.

For those of you who don't know me, I'm Lorraine (or lunabee34), and I've been moderately to intensely active for most of my lifetime.

I took a hiatus from exercise this spring because being diagnosed with two autoimmune diseases, Hashimoto's (thyroid) and celiac (gluten intolerance), made me really depressed. I am starting back my exercise regime this week, and I'm curious about "runner's high."

I have never experienced a "runner's high." I've experienced satisfaction with getting stronger or glee at biking faster than the person on the bike next to me or a kind of meditative state when exercising but never anything that seems close to what others describe as "runner's high."

So, I'm wondering whether you've experienced "runner's high," what it felt like, and the conditions that induced it. I think what I'm really wondering is if I can find a way to cultivate that experience for myself; it sounds awesome.

Date: 2016-08-09 12:07 am (UTC)
recessional: a small blue-paisley teapot with a blue mug (Default)
From: [personal profile] recessional
So this is something me and my bff ended up accidentally exploring in depth and as far as I can tell: some people get a pleasant rush of endorphins immediately after exercise to the point that they actively notice and enjoy it. Some people do not. Some people get it from some kinds of exercise but not others; others just don't get it at all.

I am the latter! She, on the other hand, gets the endorphin rush. So when she gets done a Crossfit workout (or whatever) that makes her Really Work Out, she actively feels great - there is a feeling of pleasure that lines up with a chemical experience.

I do not. Ever. When we lived together in undergrad, she was happily the fittest she's ever been, and I had my lifelong difficulties with exercise which is a total lack of motivation on a gut level. Lots of motivation on a "gosh I would love to be fit" level! But then when it comes time to actually get up and do something, it never seems appealing at all.

IRONICALLY the one thing she does NOT get this for is . . . .running. So she was prepping for a kickboxing tournament at one point and had to do actual running for cardio reasons etc and one day she came in and looked so grumpy I teased her about it and she was like: running is the WORST. It's boring and repetitive and no fun in and of itself and worst of all (she said), I don't even FEEL good like I feel after a workout!

And the lightbulb went on over my head! And I said, " . . . now imagine how you feel right now is how every kind of exercise feels, fundamentally. Imagine you NEVER feel that Great Feeling after a workout: all you ever feel is tired, plus whatever fun the actual exercise may or may not have been."

(By which I mean, like: playing tag in and of itself is fun! the game is fun. The act of running about merely facilitates the fun of the game, it's not fun for its own sake.)

She gave me this horrified look. But it solved the mystery of why it was so much easier for her to do that kind of shit than it has ever been for me. XD

Which, ramblingly: I have no idea if you can cultivate it, but I have never been able to. (And I did competitive dancing, swimming and speedskating as a teenager.) My system apparently Just Doesn't Work That Way, and it's always been a real problem when it comes to finding ways to motivate myself to cultivate fitness, because there is exactly ZERO immediate reward. Some people seem to just Not Get It, while others do, and a third category get it in some circumstances but not others.

Date: 2016-08-09 08:40 am (UTC)
rydra_wong: Text: "Your body is a battleground" over photo of 19th-C strongwoman. (body -- battleground)
From: [personal profile] rydra_wong
*raises hand*

Fellow non-high-getter, as far as I can see (I've once or twice had what seems like a mild pleasant buzz after sessions of endurance climbing training, but that's it).

Fortunately for me, I find climbing intensely motivating in itself, and can make myself do some other things on the basis that they'll be good for my climbing.

Slightly tangential:

This year, courtesy of a training plan written by a friend (see under: good for my climbing), I have actually been forcing myself to do a modest amount of cardio-type exercise, and have found that it does possibly seem to help my overall mood a bit (small amount, but distinct, given that my cocktail of meds leaves me with a significant amount of residual depression). This is annoying because I loathe cardio, find it intensely boring and unpleasant and don't get any high from it -- it just feels bad and I want to stop doing it.
Edited (I can words.) Date: 2016-08-09 08:41 am (UTC)

Date: 2016-08-09 08:01 pm (UTC)
recessional: a small blue-paisley teapot with a blue mug (Default)
From: [personal profile] recessional
That has always been the thing I resent most: I KNOW that I do in fact get a small but meaningful mood boost from regular cardio exercise. I know it!

But it's only in the long run and only if it's regular and yeah, like you, DURING it's just fucking unpleasant and dull.

Pokemon Go has become my current magic charm in a way that, like. *HANDS* Right now it's raining and cold and gross but the sullen two year old that runs my motivation's response to "we could go hit the round of pokestops after the telus tech comes" is " . . . .mayyybe . . . ."

Normally it would be "hahah fuck you." It would be like that on a nice day too. In general the sullen two year old that runs my motivation just does not fucking want to go for a walk walks are boring and STUPID.

But she apparently loves pocket-monsters! Soooo.

(no subject)

From: [personal profile] rydra_wong - Date: 2016-08-10 09:18 pm (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

From: [personal profile] recessional - Date: 2016-08-11 12:54 am (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

From: [personal profile] rydra_wong - Date: 2016-08-11 07:58 am (UTC) - Expand

Date: 2016-08-09 12:44 pm (UTC)
vass: A running shoe with a foot in it (Walking)
From: [personal profile] vass
I sometimes get an endorphin high after exercise. It feels like a warm golden glow in the centre of my body and makes me feel relaxed and happy, and lasts maybe half an hour. For me it needs to be intense enough exercise that I was out of breath, and needs to have worked large muscle groups in some way. And the experience of exercise needs to have not involved enough emotional or sensory or physical distress to cancel out the high.

And there are other post-exercise sensations that I think are not part of the high, like a feeling of physical satisfaction, similar to when I've eaten a meal after being hungry -- a sense that my body got a thing that it needed. Also the good sort of soreness, and whatever relaxation I managed to achieve. I can get those things without getting the glowy feeling.

Sometimes if I'm already having a bad headache or neck pain flare-up and then go exercise and get high on endorphins, the endorphin high will kill the pain but then it'll come back worse. So that sucks.

It's worth mentioning that endorphins are literally opiates, and sensitivity to opiates varies, not to mention that we don't know if everyone makes the same amount of it in response to the exercise.

Date: 2016-08-10 02:48 pm (UTC)
vass: A sepia-toned line-drawing of a man in naval uniform dancing a hornpipe, his crotch prominent (Default)
From: [personal profile] vass
I think I've maybe read too many enthusiastic fitness magazines and was envisioning something much more dramatic.

[tmi] Reminds me of how orgasms are for me vs how fanfic tells me they should be. I have no complaints about my own body in that regard, but I certainly don't writhe and moan and scream with pleasure or anything. [/tmi]

(no subject)

From: [personal profile] recessional - Date: 2016-08-10 06:16 pm (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

From: [personal profile] vass - Date: 2016-08-10 07:54 pm (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

From: [personal profile] recessional - Date: 2016-08-10 08:23 pm (UTC) - Expand

Date: 2016-08-09 07:23 pm (UTC)
rydra_wong: old-fashioned medicine label, reading "EFFERVESCENT BRAIN SALT" (meds -- brain salt)
From: [personal profile] rydra_wong
It feels like a warm golden glow

Yeah, "golden glow" is exactly what I've felt on the one or two occasions I've had what I think is some sort of runner's high reaction (always from climbing endurance training, never from standard cardio). Though I don't think mine's ever lasted half an hour.

like a feeling of physical satisfaction, similar to when I've eaten a meal after being hungry -- a sense that my body got a thing that it needed.

There's a bit in Johnny Dawes's autobiography where (IIRC, paraphrasing as I don't have it to hand) he says sometimes climbing's just like walking the dog.

(Which is fascinating given how we so often think of exercise as an unpleasant chore that you have to sort of do to your body. Versus: here is a large animal, maybe it wants a certain amount of moving around and doing stuff for its wellbeing.)

It's worth mentioning that endorphins are literally opiates, and sensitivity to opiates varies

Ooh, good point. And the other neurochemicals also possibly implicated by current research are endocannabinoids, and obviously people react very differently to cannabis too.

Date: 2016-08-09 11:28 pm (UTC)
recessional: a small blue-paisley teapot with a blue mug (Default)
From: [personal profile] recessional
The thing is that when I walk the dog I get a happy dog. Or at least a cessation of dog whining.

Whereas I get nothing for moving my body-animal around (in immediate terms) except possibly MORE body-animal whining (because ow).

:|

(Which is to say: sometimes how one frames it really doesn't make any difference.)
Edited Date: 2016-08-10 08:24 pm (UTC)

(no subject)

From: [personal profile] rydra_wong - Date: 2016-08-11 07:39 pm (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

From: [personal profile] recessional - Date: 2016-08-12 01:40 am (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

From: [personal profile] rydra_wong - Date: 2016-08-12 08:21 am (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

From: [personal profile] rydra_wong - Date: 2016-08-12 05:58 pm (UTC) - Expand

Date: 2016-08-10 02:50 pm (UTC)
vass: A sepia-toned line-drawing of a man in naval uniform dancing a hornpipe, his crotch prominent (Default)
From: [personal profile] vass
like walking the dog. [...] here is a large animal, maybe it wants a certain amount of moving around and doing stuff for its wellbeing.

Yes, exactly so, and that's a metaphor I use myself for my body's need for exercise. I almost used it when posting that comment.

Date: 2016-08-09 07:48 pm (UTC)
recessional: a small blue-paisley teapot with a blue mug (Default)
From: [personal profile] recessional
It's worth mentioning that endorphins are literally opiates, and sensitivity to opiates varies, not to mention that we don't know if everyone makes the same amount of it in response to the exercise.

This is a good point!

I have yet to experience anything but pain reduction from opiates - like I've taken some fairly strong ones, but there was no experiential reaction beyond "oh hey this T3 has taken my migraine away/way down." I also don't think I make very many in general. I am really envious of people who get the high after exercise.

The lack of it is why that stupid Pokemon game has been a godsend. Previous to it there was legit NO possible short-term/immediate motivation for me to go out on a walk on a day like today (gross, wet, cold) because I would get NOTHING tangible out of it, and it's really hard to conquer my level of executive dysfunction and depression-related lethargy with "but overall, in a way you intellectually know but cannot even remotely sensorily tie together, exercise will probably in general make you feel better!"

(I mean it's TRUE. I know it's true. My lizard-brain don't give a fuck.)

Whereas "but we could go hit up a circle of pokestops and hatch an egg and that egg MIGHT be some kind of fucking char- variety so we can EVOLVE OUR DAMN STARTER INTO A DRAGON" = magic. Apparently. *throws up hands*

(no subject)

From: [personal profile] recessional - Date: 2016-08-09 11:30 pm (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

From: [personal profile] vass - Date: 2016-08-10 03:46 pm (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

From: [personal profile] recessional - Date: 2016-08-10 06:13 pm (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

From: [personal profile] vass - Date: 2016-08-10 07:39 pm (UTC) - Expand

Date: 2016-08-11 07:48 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] indywind
Vass' account above sounds like my experience on the occasions when I've experienced exercise-related endorphins. My experiences of it , not common to start with, have even more rarely come with a feeling that is centered, light or energized, and peaceful or calm.

All that may be at the same time as feeling muscularly weary, or feeling specific pain or discomfort e.g. from muscle fatigue or a popped blister whatever. For me, it doesn't make pain or fatigue stop, it just makes me not not mind it as much.

It's very likely I'll have some discomfort alongside the endorphins, since I don't seem to get the endorphins without sustained high effort. At least half an hour, more usually an hour or more, and often physical exertion alone doesn't do it-- I'm more likely to experience endorphins (or notice the experience, which amounts to the same thing I guess) if my attention is in the activity too, and I'm not dissociating or distracting myself.


Date: 2016-08-09 04:37 pm (UTC)
hellkitty: (cat kitten peeping)
From: [personal profile] hellkitty
Hashimoto's is a drag: I honestly thought I was suddenly just...depressed when it flared the first time. I had no idea what was wrong with me: I went from walking 6 miles a day to not even having the energy to reheat food for dinner! So, I know how that takes a toll!

I have had a runner's high, many years ago when I used to run (before a back injury put an end to that!) It's not a short distance event for me. It had to be at least a 10K before I could even think of it, and it feels before you get there like you're running into a wall.

There's a similar experience I've had (with slightly less of a 'wall') in doing hot vinyasa yoga. I think both share the quality of needing you to breathe slow and deep while you're exerting a lot of energy.

(no subject)

From: [personal profile] rydra_wong - Date: 2016-08-12 09:19 am (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

From: [personal profile] rydra_wong - Date: 2016-08-13 09:05 am (UTC) - Expand

Date: 2016-08-09 05:42 pm (UTC)
jenett: Big and Little Dipper constellations on a blue watercolor background (Default)
From: [personal profile] jenett
I got happy endorphins from horseback riding and skiing when I was doing both regularly. I think there's something in the rhythmic motion that makes a difference for me. I was a serious competitive rider in my teens, and riding hard 6 days a week most of the time, and there was nothing like a really strenuous lesson or day at the barn.

I really *enjoy* swimming in a way I don't other exercise, though I'm not quite sure it's happy endorphins. (And also find it helpful in other ways: I've also got hypothyroid, and I am a lot happier swimming where I just have to get to the end of the pool if I get tired than worrying about getting stuck somewhere if I try walking.) Again, I think the full-body nature of it helps me.

(Incidentally, if anyone reading gets bored swimming, I was delighted when I realised that living in the future includes waterproof MP3 players. I listen to podcasts now while in the pool and life is awesome.)

I really dislike treadmill walking and it is anti-endorphin feelings for me, but I do it when that's the available option. But I have to make myself do it and bribe myself with interesting podcasts because it is such a grind.

(no subject)

From: [personal profile] jenett - Date: 2016-08-09 06:45 pm (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

From: [personal profile] recessional - Date: 2016-08-09 07:57 pm (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

From: [personal profile] recessional - Date: 2016-08-09 11:34 pm (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

From: [personal profile] rydra_wong - Date: 2016-08-11 04:26 pm (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

From: [personal profile] indywind - Date: 2016-08-11 07:31 pm (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

From: [personal profile] rydra_wong - Date: 2016-08-15 07:41 am (UTC) - Expand

Date: 2016-08-09 08:45 pm (UTC)
ruric: (Default)
From: [personal profile] ruric
Hi!

I'm not sure I've ever experienced a runner's high as it tends to be described (it's 20 odd years since I was seriously running on a regular basis) but I do most definitely hit a cardio zone when running (slowly these days) or when I'm on the elliptical for an extended session.

The thing I always forget about running is it takes me what feels like ages (in reality about 15 mins!) to actually get into the zone. The first 15 mins of any run have always been sheer hell for me - it's like I always forget how to move, to co-ordinate arms and legs and breathing? How does that work again? Somewhere around 15-20 mins whether running outside or inside it all comes together and it's seamless and exhilarating and I feel like I could go on forever. :)

I get there a lot faster when using the elliptical machine in the gym - usually hitting the zone in about 5-8 minutes.

Alas I'm getting some dull aching hip pain after cardio workouts these days - so I have to be careful. No-one seems to know what the cause is - Xrays show nothing - and it's frustrating. It hit really hard last year just as I was getting back into running again and my PT suggested I cut back and stick to the elliptical or rowing machine while we try and figure it out - alas no nearer a solution!

I do definitely get a post-workout buzz when I've done intense weights or full on 60 minute boxing sessions with him though!

Edited Date: 2016-08-09 08:46 pm (UTC)

Date: 2016-08-10 04:48 pm (UTC)
jesse_the_k: Swim fins which are also high heels. (swimmer deluxe)
From: [personal profile] jesse_the_k
I had the high once: backpacking Vermont mountains when I was 14. After we'd gone ~10 miles that day (with heavy packs), every step became easier, and I could enjoy the trip. I was wowed. However, never repeated.

I'm also a swimmer and water exerciser. I've tried a wide range of distances and paces, and no high, no glow, no charitable feelings to the annoying bigots in the locker room. When I get out I feel relaxed for around 15 mins, which gets me dressed & to the bus.

(no subject)

From: [personal profile] geekturnedvamp - Date: 2016-08-11 03:55 am (UTC) - Expand

Date: 2016-08-14 12:13 pm (UTC)
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
From: [personal profile] rmc28
I'm chiming in really late, but partly because I've got today the kind of gentle high that until recently I associated only with:
* the evening and next day after a hard climbing session
* the several days after I power-walked a marathon
* the several days after I ran a half-marathon

I am currently 8 months into recovery from leukaemia and chemo, and what actually triggered this was walking approximately twice my current daily step target yesterday. A couple of weeks ago I got something similar from cycling approximately twice my normal daily commute.

I woke up with my legs feeling heavy and mildly achy and my whole body feeling mildly tired, but a gentle glow of satisfaction and good mood. I know that I won't be able to do much physically today, but I'm content enough it doesn't matter.

I normally get a noticable boost in mood from exercise, if it is something where I am breathing hard and sweaty, and keep it up for at least 20-30 minutes. The first 5-10 minutes of that, I might find hard and annoying, but the mood shift kicks in around then and lasts at least half a day. The typical example pre-cancer would be going for a lunchtime run at work after a frustrating morning, and coming back with a grin on my face and remaining cheerful the rest of the day. (I haven't yet got fit enough to start running again.)

On a more maintenance level, if I do at least half an hour of gentle exercise a day (e.g. walking or cycling but not hard enough to get seriously out of breath or sweaty), I am much better able to maintain a pleasant mood and cope with frustrations and annoyances. Or, as I usually notice it, if I *don't* get a walk in each day, I get much more frustrated and miserable in general.

Runs of at least an hour, and powerwalks of at least two hours, and at-my-limit rock-climbing are where I've experienced something more like actual highs - joy, giddiness, delight etc - which would then ease back into the more gentle glow of happiness/ache/tiredness that I got this morning. I didn't get a high yesterday, or two weeks ago. I just got very tired.

(no subject)

From: [personal profile] rmc28 - Date: 2016-08-14 08:58 pm (UTC) - Expand

Profile

bodies_in_motion: A dancer (Annie Hanauer) crouches. She has a prosthetic arm. (Default)
bodies_in_motion

August 2017

S M T W T F S
  12345
6 789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728293031  

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Sep. 26th, 2017 10:44 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios