What to drug addicts and some runners have in common?

Addiction to the high that comes with their fix.

Did you know that endorphins were discovered in the 1970s when scientists were researching drug addiction. They discovered that the brain manufactures chemicals that are even more potent than morphine or heroin, but which share the same receptors as those drugs. These natural chemicals produced by your body are the endorphins responsible for that sense of euphoria you'd get after a particularly intense workout, or a good run.

Endorphins are natural antidepressants. They block pain and give a general feeling of euphoria. If you feel blue, get up, put on your running shoes and go for a run. The endorphins you produce would give you the mood booster you need.

That's not all. Running burns calories and helps you lose weight. Once you get hooked on running, you'd find your clothes getting looser and looser as you shed off the excess fat. Shopping for clothes becomes a lot more pleasant as your figure improves. You have more energy and are a lot stronger as your body becomes fitter, thanks to your daily running exercise.

Here are some tips to help you get the ball rolling.

1. Get a great pair of running shoes. You need to support your feet well. Running shoes are built to support and cushion your feet as they pound the ground.

2. Warm up before your start your run. You don't want to pull a muscle.

3. See a doctor first before you start your running regime, or any exercise program for that matter. This is especially important if you are overweight or have any underlying health problem.

4. Walk first for 5 minutes, then run in long, smooth strides at a comfortable pace. Avoid jogging as jerky movements can wear out your knee cartilage, which would result in knee pain and affect your future ability to run, or even walk properly. Cool down by walking for another 5 minutes after your run.

5. When you first start running, don't diet. Not even if weight loss is your main goal. Eat your proper meals. You can cut down on snacks and everything else but drink plenty of water and have a balanced diet. Your body needs the energy.

6. When you run, watch your posture. Relax your shoulders, look straight ahead, not down and pull your navel to your spine. Do not clench your fists.

7. Drink a glass of water an hour before and after your run. You'll lose plenty of fluids through sweat when you run and your body needs to replenish them.

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