While we are all probably aware of adrenaline, how much do you really know about this special hormone? Epinephrine, to give adrenaline its official name, is a hormone which is secreted by the adrenal glands and prompts a “fight or flight” response. The body is prompted to create adrenaline in times of both mental and physical stress. So, if you are having a good exercise routine in the gym then there is every chance adrenaline will kick in and help you to push yourself.
Physical impact of adrenaline
While adrenaline makes you feel stronger both physically and mentally there are other physical impacts which will help you exercise more robustly. First of all your pupils will dilate and you will experience excess sweating. Perhaps the most prominent impact is upon your heart rate which increases which leads to a rise in your blood pressure, constriction of your arteries and improved oxygen flow to muscle tissue. This improved oxygen flow to your muscle tissues strengthens your muscles and gives you greater endurance as well as improved breathing and redirection of blood flow to your vital organs.
If you speak to those who exercise on a regular basis, whether in the gym or running, they will have experience of “runner’s high”. This is the result of neurotransmitters in the body which are better known as endorphins that have a significant impact upon your emotions. There is medical research to show that endorphins are instrumental in fighting off depression and other mental illnesses as well as giving you a “feelgood” factor. It is interesting and useful to know how your body reacts to adrenaline and endorphins and how you can use this to further your exercise activities.
Artificial adrenaline rush
In certain medical circumstances endorphins can be injected directly into the bloodstream to combat depression and other similar illnesses. Unfortunately, some athletes and bodybuilders have been known to use these endorphin injections to increase their muscle strength and their endurance. This then allows them to push themselves harder in the gym, build more muscle definition and “push through the pain barrier”. This is all good and well but there are potentially serious side effects from artificial adrenaline rushes!
Adrenaline has a direct impact upon heart rate and where injections are involved, without medical assistance, the side effects can be deadly. There are even herbal supplements which give the same reaction and while we often assume herbal supplements are “safer” even these can prompt dizziness/headaches and make an individual feel very uncomfortable.
Listen to your body
Exercise and fresh air releases endorphins which give you a feel good factor and physical pressure on your body releases adrenaline. Used naturally these can have a significant impact upon your endurance and ability to exercise harder and longer. There is obviously a need to ensure that you do not push yourself too hard because unfortunately there can be dire consequences in certain circumstances (as well as more sporting injuries). The best way to control an adrenaline rush is through your breathing, take a step back, bend over and breathe continuously until you feel your heart rate dropping.
Too many people push themselves far too hard in the gym without understanding how their body works, the impact of adrenaline and positive use of endorphins. It is all good and well building your muscle but if this is to the detriment of your general well-being it is not a price worth paying!