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running high

A Mom’s 30 Minute Guide for Running Beginners

Sarah Visbeek authors In the Trenches of Mommyhood, her personal blog about being a full-time working mother whose bathrooms always smell like pee. With a husband and three sports-loving sons, Sarah’s Boston trenches are full of balls–literally and figuratively. Her entire series titled “A Beginner’s Guide to Running” can be found on her blog.

So maybe you are tired of the gym. Or you want to exercise inexpensively. Or you want to take advantage of the nice weather. There are a myriad of reasons people choose to run. So whatever the reason, virtual high-five! Good for you!

Let me just first start out by reassuring you that anyone can run. Just head to the finish line of any race, of any distance, in any city. I promise you will be inspired as you observe runners of all different shapes, sizes and ages cross the finish line. Tall, short, fat, thin, old, young. YOU can be a runner, too.

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The exercise high

Maybe you’ve experienced it: You’ve finished exercising and you feel an amazing sense of joy, bliss or euphoria, almost as if you’re truly walking on cloud nine… in your running shoes. For many years, science has been challenged in trying to determine if runner’s high actually existed. But recently, a team of researchers in Germany showed that running does incite a high. In the journal Cerebral Cortex, the study showed that endorphins, the feel good hormones, are released in the runner’s body as they exercise. The more endorphins the runner’s body creates, the greater the effect in emotional state.

I was a runner for many years and admittedly had a modest addiction to the way I would feel following a run. It was a combination of feeling serene and calm yet joyful and well, high. So maybe if you love to run, but have a hard time pinpointing why, science may have answered your question.