OK, so if you woke up this morning thinking about how you could start doing something new as the nights draw in, something that would give you a chance to meet more people, give you a bit of a lift and be fun at the same time. Then read on.
We all know that exercise is good for our physical health, but did you also know that it has a less obvious benefit for our mental health, particularly for running. There’s a thing called runners high, a kind of euphoria that some runners experience during exercise, caused by the release of feel good chemicals. Great if you are a keen runner, but if you’re not, you can get the same kind of high from all sorts of other activities.
If you saw Trust Me I’m a Doctor recently, you’ll have heard about something scientists called Endocannabinoids. These are a new class of chemicals only very recently discovered that we make in our body and that have the capacity to make us feel good, – and apparently similar to some of the chemicals made in cannabis plants.
Scientists believe that these Endocannabinoids are circulated in your body and released when you do all sorts of exercise, not necessarily running, but other gentler exercise like singing, – producing the high and making you feel extra good.
Can you get runners high, without actually running?
Is running special? Are there any other activities you can do that induce similar chemical activities in the brain?
Well we’re glad to report that the answer is YES! Testing their theory with volunteers who tried 3 different activities to see if they could match the mood breaking boost gained from these Endocannabinoids during running a group of volunteers tried cycling, singing, dancing as well as reading mind numbing boiler instructions (yawn!) and yes, with the exception of the reading, all the activities in the trial were reported to have a feel-good factor.
There was a 20% improvement in the volunteers mood after cycling and dancing (so all pretty good things to do as well) but a whacking great 40% increase in mood triggered by these Endocannabinoids after singing.
So that its then, it doesn’t really matter what they’re called, singing along with other forms of exercise, triggers these things that help make us feel good, improve our mood, help to reduce our anxiety and reduce stress. So it seems that boosting these chemicals in the brain does not only have short term but long term health benefits. And its fun.
Join A Choir. Find your voice.
Boost your bliss inducing chemicals simply by singing
Here’s 5 things you need to know about singing
1. You really don’t need to have the voice of an angel or an X Factor finalist to join a choir.
2. There are hundreds of choirs up and down the land singing all sorts of music, small ones, large ones, one off ones, from gospel to rock to more classical music through to musicals.
3. 99% of choirs just want you to enjoy the singing so as long as you can get a note out, you’re on.
4. You’ll be amongst like-minded people who just want to have a fun evening.
5. Have a good practice in the shower or if you drive to work in the car – no one can hear you and you can get those vocal chords working again.
Check out our simple guide on where to find the kind of choir you’d like to join. Although I’m not a doctor this does all make sense so give it a go!
Got a singing clip you’d like to share with us? Send it to us c/o email@example.com or our Facebook page. We’d love to have a look
PS We’ve got loads of idea on new things to try and do in our SOCIAL & LEISURE section, so have a look around.
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