If you have exercised at all in the past, you know how good you feel afterwards. The reason for the rush of energy and improved outlook after working out is because the body produces chemicals called endorphins. These chemicals cause what is often called a “runner’s high” where pain and discomfort disappear and a sense of euphoria is common.
You don’t have to work out in a gym to get the benefits of elevated endorphins. In fact, most strenuous activity will produce these chemicals. Here are seven cool weather activities that will help elevate your endorphins this fall.
1. Running is an activity most people can do. It’s great for burning calories and for cardiovascular health in addition to giving you an endorphin boost. If you’re new to running, start out slow and add just a few minutes to each day until you reach you’re desired speed and distance. Don’t forget to wear a good pair of running shoes to ensure your feet are safe from injury and comfortable.
2. Hiking and backpacking are great activities for cooler weather. Check your local area for ready-made hiking paths or backpacking trails. If you don’t want to go alone, call your local park and recreation office to see if they have any resources for group guided hikes.
3. Bicycling has long been an enjoyable year-round activity. The benefit of bicycling during the cooler weather is that there is less risk of heat related illnesses. In popular tourist areas, you may find less traffic during the cooler season too.
4. Horseback riding is another activity that people enjoy year-round. Scout your area for riding stables that offer guided trail rides. Guided tours, especially those that provide the horse too, will charge for their services but the exhilaration you will feel afterwards will be well worth it.
5. Tennis can be played any time of the year, but playing in the cooler weather will make it more pleasant. Sure, you will still break a sweat, but the cooler temperatures and possible breeze will refresh you as you play.
6. Backyard football is not only for young boys. Adults can enjoy a good game of touch football and the endorphins produced will have you feeling great all day. Gather family and friends to enjoy a game in the yard or a nearby park. You’ll be glad you did.
7. Raking and removing leaves is something many people do out of necessity. But it’s also a great way to pile on the endorphins. Instead of using your lawn mower to vacuum the leaves, grab your trusty rake. Not only will you clear your lawn of leaves but you’ll also clear your head.
Fresh air, crisp temperatures and an hour of vigorous activity is all it takes to elevate your endorphins. Not only will you feel great throughout the day, you will have less stress, more mental clarity and get a better nights rest.