Given the right circumstance, the human brain has an unbelievable ability to self-regulate. I recently read two amazing quotes from Dr. Adriaan Louw. He states, “The most powerful pharmacy in the world is between your ears”. He added, “…on average, after a 6-mile run, the brain releases 10mg of Morphine. If you break your arm and rush to the ER, they will only administer you about 2mg while they reset the bone.” Let’s take a second to think about the power of the brain.
Your body and brain were designed to move. Over the last couple of years, fitness and training have become an incredible place of solitude for me. A place of self-reflection, where everything in life just seems to come back into perspective.
At a young age, my father would see me struggle with something going on in my life. Don’t get me wrong, my problems were minuscule compared to many others in this world. However, if I had a bad game, got a poor grade, broke up with a girlfriend, or had any little bit of trouble, he’d always tell me to go for a run. Every time I came back from the run I had found the answer. Exercise has been an outlet that allows me to find the answer whenever life has thrown me any sort of obstacle.
It wasn’t until I got to college and I began my undergraduate degree in psychology that I realized exactly what was going on in my brain. I realized the power of the chemicals that my brain was releasing and I figured out how to utilize them. I was going through my undergrad with the ultimate academic performance enhancing drug on the planet. It was movement. Rather than planning my workout around my school work, I began to plan my school work around my workout. I found that if I could time lacrosse practice or a training session perfectly, I would go to my school work with my brain firing on a completely different level.
When I listened to Dr. Adriaan Louw talk about how movement can release powerful chemicals into the brain, it made me reflect on all the times that exercise has allowed me to re-establish a homeostatic state of mind. My purpose in writing this is to share with others the potential that movement and exercise can have in their lives. It is something that we, as humans, can all hold in our back pocket whenever we find ourselves in a tough spot.