Endorphins or the happy hormones keep you relaxed, help relieve pain and even postpone the aging process. What's the connection with exercise? Read on...

Science has worked for years to find out what keeps humans happy and satisfied. Happy people make a happy world. And happiness cannot be bought. It is a feeling that is triggered by the ‘happy hormones' or endorphins which are, “natural hormones that your brain releases when you are relaxed, like after a great meal, a good workout or a good laugh,” says Dr. Mini Rao, a psychologist who practises out of Chennai.

Key role

Our minds, our spiritualism and our circumstances play a key role in keeping us happy. But did you know that regular exercise contributes towards your H-Factor? If you are a regular exerciser you would have noticed it yourself.

“Personally, once I am done with a good workout I feel on top of the world and feel so good about myself – sometimes my family takes advantage of the happy me they see. If I could market endorphins in a bottle I would because I know I would become a millionaire in no time,” laughs Dr. Rao right after a gruelling, sweat dripping workout.

For those still not convinced, here's the truth about the Happy Hormone. Called endorphins they are known to reduce stress, make you happier and even postpone the aging process. Wonderful, right? Everybody – human, or animal – goes through the natural cycle of life. Age is not reversible. Even if you go through cosmetic surgery, implants, or resort to Ayurvedic methods, the numbers on your body will go only one way – up, up and up – every day. But, indulging in exercise on a regular basis, increases the production and release of endorphins. They are the best way to keep body and mind on a natural high. “The more often you can stimulate your brain to release these natural hormones, the better you will feel, and the easier it will be to put yourself into this happy state of mind,” Dr. Mini says.

As the name suggests, endorphins or “endogenous morphine” is one of many morphine like substances discovered in our brain as recently as 1975. During research, scientists found that this wonderful hormone, naturally produced within our bodies enhances our immune system and relieves pain. Endorphins activate natural killer cells that fight against diseases, eliminating harmful cells before they have had a chance to attack. And this includes obliterating cancer cells. If you think you can buy it off the shelf, think again. There are no medicines which contain endorphins. They cannot be bought. They can only be got through your own efforts like exercise and good times with family and friends.

Be regular

Remember, you need a minimum of 30 minutes of working out for the happy hormones to actually take effect. Exercise and cardio become the new magic potions. The more often you can stimulate your brain to release these natural hormones, the better you will feel, and the easier it will be to put yourself into the endorphin zone.

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