They call running the “positive addiction”, and those who get hooked understand why. The feelings of contentment and well-being, the sense of communion with all else beneath the sun and stars, the conscience-free eating and drinking are just a few of the inducements that provoke a powerful enticement to daily dosing.
In 2008 the journal Cerebral Cortex confirmed the anecdotal evidence: Running does indeed elicit a flood of endorphins in the brain, and those endorphins are associated with mood changes, and the more endorphins a runner’s body pumps out, the greater the effect.
Frightening evidence, indeed, because no matter how you gussy it up, addiction is addiction, and it’s a slippery slope one steps onto. Even one seemingly harmless dependence can easily lead to other, more disruptive forms. Therefore, the time to blunt any addiction’s hold is now. But to do so alone is difficult. Every addiction is best broken by a support system. Running’s hold must be, as well. (more…)