Running and the Runner’s High: Truth, or Myth?

Many of us have experienced running, either in the most glorious of times or in the worst of times. Running helps us get to places on time if we are late, it sometimes makes us feel better, and it overall seems to have positive effects on our lives.

Running can also be negatively viewed, being torturous exercise on the legs and body, hard on the knees, and does not always feel so good!

The question we must examine is if the runner’s high is real. In case you do not know what this feeling is, you can find it here:’s-High

After examining a WebMD article, it states that while endorphins and the natural release of dopamine plays a slight role in this “high” feeling, the rhythmic aspect and duration of the run plays a larger role. Probably the biggest factor the author noted was the repetition of exercise. Chief science officer Cedric Bryant (PhD for the American Council on Exercise) states that by repeating running (or any other aerobic exercise) on a normal basis, you can perform in a repetitive rhythmic fashion, and that seems to produce the “high” effect.

Bryant continues:

“Whatever sport you choose, another piece of good news is that you don’t have to push your limits to reap a reward. The other thing that is encouraging is that workouts don’t have to be overly strenuous to produce this [high] effect,” “Most research has looked at running and cycling and so forth, but when you look at some of the studies that have been done in the clinical environment, the key is being active for 30 minutes or more at a moderate intensity level to see some of these beneficial psychological outcomes.”


Overall, we can conclude that runner’s high is not necessarily a drug but more so the ACT of repeating physical movement on a standard basis.

Be good to yourself and get your runner’s high today! Weather in Seattle is looking ideal for the next 10 days (cloudy, cool(er)) to be outisde– so get out and have fun!


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