Friday, August 13, 2010

I'm not the only one.

Sometimes I feel a bit strange when I admit to working out while on vacation. As if it makes me a huge loser for not setting the sneaks aside for a few days in the name of relaxation. But then I remind myself that I find solace in my workouts. Though they stress out my muscles, they relax my mind—vacations themselves are meant to relax you, right? So it's only fitting that I work out while I'm on vacation. Perhaps it goes back to the endorphinal rush, or perhaps it has something to do with serotonin.

I recently read about serotonin in a blog post on The New York Times website. The article stated that serotonin is a neurotransmitter found in our brains, and that low levels of serotonin might be associated with aggression and other mood disorders. Now, I'm generally not an aggressive person, but every so often I succumb to bad moods. (Let's be honest, who doesn't?) But let's not talk about that. Instead, let's talk about rats. The article also states that scientists have completed a variety of tests on rats, only to conclude that lower levels of serotonin truly promote aggression (and possibly bad moods, though there's no true way to tell if a rat is pissed). But when those rats hit their rat wheels for a run, serotonin levels increased and the rats weren't as aggressive.

Getting back to us humans, if our brains work the same way (and they sort of do), then it means that exercise can have a calming effect. Much like a great vacation, you see. So it's only perfect to mesh the two. And just so you know, I'm not the only one that does so. Check out the woman below. I have no idea who she is, but I loved the fact that she was working out in the middle of all that is Jackson, Wyoming.

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