Wherefore art thou runner's high?
February 25, 2008 2:10 PM Subscribe
Why do I never, ever seem to get that fabled runner's high from exercise? Is it something I can teach myself to do?
posted by mostlymartha to health & fitness (37 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
At various times in my life, I've been in rather good shape and less good shape. I've had more or less physical activity of various intensities. I have never, not once, got anything even resembling a runner's high.
Until I was 16 (I'm 26 now) I was a very committed dancer who had intense 90 minute practices three times a week with additional classes on weekends from time to time. At the time, I loved the performance aspect of dance, but always hated the long, sweaty practices, even when I was in very good shape.
Since then I've walked and run (the latter as much as my dance-wrecked knees will let me), swam and ellipticalled, played baseball and hiked, and I've even been pretty seriously into yoga. It's never felt good; no matter how long my heart rate is up, I never feel anything switch over and begin to feel at all pleasant and rewarding. During exercise, I just feel tired and irritable. Afterward I feel worse. After a good, challenging yoga session, I'm frequently very relaxed from having a good stretch and meditation, which is nice, but it's generally overwhelmed by my dislike of the shaky muscles, sweaty skin, and fatigue. That's as close as I've come.
So, is the runner's high feeling something I can learn how to get, or will exercise always be something I make myself do whether I like it or not?