I just read an interesting article which talks about the possibility of becoming addicted to the “runner’s high” and to exercise in general. I’ve read before that exercise releases those good feeling chemicals in our brain known as endorphins. This is particularly well known amongst runners because the longer they run, the higher the chance they will experience a runner’s high which gives them their second wind.
While the study was not performed on humans (it was conducted on rats), it seemed that the rats which exercised and given Naloxone (a drug used to counteract an opiate overdose and produce immediate withdrawal symptoms), had a much higher level of withdrawal symptoms.
The overall conclusion seemed to be:
“Exercise, like drugs of abuse, leads to the release of neurotransmitters such as endorphins and dopamine, which are involved with a sense of reward,” Kanarek said. “As with food intake and other parts of life, moderation seems to be the key. Exercise, as long as it doesn’t interfere with other aspects of one’s life, is a good thing with respect to both physical and mental health.” [Source: msnbc.com]
Is it possible that we can become addicted to exercise as well? I do believe exercise leaves you feeling great but I would hardly compare it to an addiction. However, I am sure there are others out there who have taken exercise to the extreme.
What is your opinion on this?