Each and every runner knows that the start of a run can often contain those moments of thought – 'this is impossible today' to 'my legs just can’t get going'. Whether it is a long, slow training run or quick tempo session, these feelings often dissipate and the joy of clocking up the miles starts to take over.
A recent YouGov poll has suggested that the natural high we experience from exercise occurs at a very specific point – around eight minutes and 28 seconds to be precise (on average). The poll, commissioned by online sports retailer Wiggle, asked 2,000 adults about the transition in mindset between motivating yourself to exercise and enjoying it once you do.
The study revealed that runners reach 'Youphoria', that natural high moment you experience when exercising, as coined by leading sports psychologist Michael Caulfield, far quicker than those performing other forms of exercise, such as hiking or walking.
The findings also showed that those aged between 18-24 years old experience 'Youphoria' quickest, while those in the 35-44 bracket take the longest (the time is said to decrease again when you reach 45–54).
Michael Caulfield, who works as a leading sports psychologist at The Sporting Edge, commented on the findings: “It’s something everyone can relate to in what are now very busy lifestyles. It is often easier to think of reasons not to exercise but there is a very distinct moment where your mindset changes and you take action. Once you do, you never look back at running or exercise and say 'I wish I hadn’t done that'.
While the findings reveal interesting patterns relating to the age / Youphoria moment, the study probably just reiterates what all of us runners already knew – it makes you happy.