Excuse me? Where are my endorphins?

by Suw on April 23, 2007

Yesterday, as per Saturday's post, Kevin and I went to our gym induction sessions at the local leisure centre, where the lovely Frances introduced us to the machinery.
Now, I've never been to a gym before. I used to go to Tai Chi twice a week and, for a while back in the mid 90s, I had thighs like rocks and could fell a man twice my size with a mere nudge to his kneecap. It's all been downhill since then. Add that lack of fitness to my rabid neophobia and my rampant fear of social humiliation, and you have a fabulous opportunity for me to run away and hide behind the sofa. (Dr Who used to have roughly the same effect.)
But with Kevin there to hold my hand, and Frances being really friendly and nice, and the gym being relatively quiet, I actually managed to get through my induction without any moments of hideous embarrassment.
So this is my regime. (Please forgive the lack of technical language.)
1. 10 minutes on the treadmill at an incline of 1.5, speed of 6.0. (I have no idea what units these are measured in, but I think that kilometres might have something to do with it.)
2. 15 minutes on the recumbent bike, level 3, 60 rpm.
3. 2 x 15 reps on the arm pully inny thingie.
4. 2 x 15 reps on the thighy squeezy thingie.
5. 2 x 15 reps on the thighy anti-squeezy pushy thingie.
6. 2 x 15 reps on the leggy pushy thingie.
The last four all have weights attached, but I can't remember what they are for each one, but at least for the leggy pushy thingie, it's the lowest it can be. It's all written down in a booklet that you leave that the gym, so I'll have to check it the next time I'm there.
After Frances showed me everything and I'd done half the amount of exercise that I am scheduled to do in a work out, she showed me some stretches and asked if I wanted to stay to do a full workout. Not on your nellie. My legs were already wobbly and I only did half of what I was supposed to!
This morning, though, Kev and I were up at the crack of dawn and were down the gym, raring to go by 8.30am.
That might possibly be an exaggeration for at least one of us. We were down the gym at 8.30am, but 'raring' wasn't entirely my condition. I did everything I was supposed to do, except that I knocked 5 mins off the bike because I was a bit worried about us getting home in time for Kev to get to work. I wasn't in too much pain afterwards, which was a relief, but we have at least 24 hours before the muscle shock kicks in. I may not be quite so relieved tomorrow.
I have been told that doing a good vigourous workout regularly, including cardiovascular exercise, will not only make me slim and lithe and sylph-like again, but will also give me more energy and make me feel better. This is what I've been told.
I haven't seen any evidence of it yet. I noticed elevated heart rate, although that's hardly difficult to achieve given that my usual exercise regime is moving from bed to couch to fridge to couch to corner shop for ice cream to couch… I also noticed wobbly legs, wherein one suddenly starts channelling Bambi at birth. And I noticed a loss from my bank account of about 30 quid each month.
But I was promised endorphins, dammit! Where are they? I was promised more energy! I was promised feelings of wellbeing! These things have been dangled in front of me like the gilded carrot of anticipation! Yet where are they? Dammit, who stole my endorphins and when do I get them back?
Fine. I'll just go and eat some chocolate instead. See if I care.

Anonymous April 23, 2007 at 8:51 pm

Not being funny, but I have heard that the consumption of chocolate before a workout does help to release endorphins faster. I can't remember where I read this or how reliable the source was but… meh, you could give it a try.

Anonymous April 24, 2007 at 11:39 am

Mmmm, chocolate!
Any excuse is a good one for me!

Anonymous May 3, 2007 at 3:04 pm

I read that in The Guardian magazine a couple of Saturdays ago. I'm trying it now, before I go to the gym in an hour (any excuse…).

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