A Natural High

Gina Carano, top-ranked MMA fighter
Numerous studies indicate that people who exercise regularly benefit from a positive boost in mood and lower rates of depression.

When you exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins. These endorphins interact with the receptors in your brain that reduce your perception of pain.

One of the most effective types of training to stimulate the release of endorphins is anaerobic exercise. This includes explosive activities like sprinting and boxing which require strength, speed and power. Thai boxing is estimated to be about 70-80% anaerobic which is why it is such a great endorphin-boosting exercise.

If this kind of activity is performed regularly, the endorphins you produce during training begin to degrade more slowly than they did before you started your training program. This allows you to train for longer which in turn stimulates the production of more endorphins. This is one of the main reason that exercise can become addictive, but as long as it’s not taken to extremes is just a natural way to feel good.

(Reference: McArdle, Katch, Katch. Exercise Physiology, 7th ed, 2010).