How Older Adults Can Release Endorphins

mid-age and elderly lady dancing on the beach

mid-age and elderly lady dancing on the beach

An excellent way to feel happier is to release endorphins. So, what are endorphins? In layperson’s terms, endorphins are happy chemicals. Your central nervous system and pituitary gland release endorphins to help you feel pleasure and manage your stressors.  

According to the Harvard Medical School, endorphins are as effective as antidepressants in some cases. Let’s look at some activities for older adults that can stimulate endorphins:

#1 Exercise 

Exercise is the most obvious way to release endorphins. Typically, endorphins trigger after twenty minutes to half an hour of exercise. Older adults who are hesitant about engaging in physical activities can try lighter exercises like walking, light running, swimming, or bowling. 

Other benefits of exercise for older adults are:

  • Reduced risk of heart disease and diabetes
  • Enhanced mental health
  • Lower risk of falls
  • Better cognitive function

Another advantage of exercise is that it can help older adults socialize and avoid isolation. Exercising in groups is an excellent way to create memories and cement relationships. 

Walking with friends, bowling in a group, or joining a retirement community promoting active living are good options.

#2 Dancing

Experts suggest dancing as one of the tips for seniors to stay active for a good reason. The activity combines physical, emotional, and cognitive stimulation. It’s good for your brain, heart, and spirit.  

The activity can also release endorphins in older adults. After twenty to thirty minutes of light dancing, you should start feeling happier due to the endorphin release. Dancing in a group could raise your endorphin levels even faster. Just remember to enjoy yourself and pay attention to your body’s strengths and limitations during the activity. 

#3 Meditation

The activity may not seem like a likely candidate for endorphin release, but at least one study suggests that meditation triggers mood-improving chemicals. Moreover, meditation enhances physical wellness and mental health and improves sleep quality. 

#4 Physical Intimacy

Not only does physical intimacy strengthen relationships between older adults, but the experience can release endorphins and other mood-enhancing chemicals. It can also improve self-confidence and mental health and minimize stress.

#5 Comedy with Friends

As the saying goes, laughter is the best medicine. It improves mood and reduces stress, anxiety, and depression. It can also help older adults socialize, for example, in a comedy club with friends. Other ways to enjoy comedy with friends are to watch a funny movie together or just share humorous experiences. 

Interestingly, research finds that laughing in a group with friends also raises your endorphin levels. So, the next time your favourite entertainer is in town, call your friends and buy some tickets. 

#6 Massage Therapy

Older adults visit massage therapists to reduce chronic pain, discomfort and fatigue, and stress. Massage therapy also elevates good chemicals in your body, such as oxytocin, serotonin, dopamine, and of course, endorphins. 

Endorphins are powerful natural chemicals that benefit people from any age bracket, including older adults. While exercise is the most obvious way to boost endorphin levels, there are other effective methods, too, such as dancing, massage therapy, and a night of comedy. Try different ways to release endorphins in your body and enhance your mood