This is for Segev.
I've just joined this site in order to reply to you.
I've never responded to a forum before and I haven't got a clue what I'm doing. Sorry. I stumbled onto this forum because I had searched, "Why don't I get an endorphin rush anymore?" I haven't read all the comments here yet either; I'm in a bit of a hurry.
Anyway, Segev, I empathize with you. Hard exercise totally exhausts me for the entire day and frequently makes me feel physically sick. Not from over-doing it either, as most people would tell me. I hate exercise. It's hellish.
I believe it is from adrenal fatigue. I know many doctors do not believe in adrenal fatigue. I don't know what to say to that. I was fortunate to have a doctor who had lots of experience and diagnosed me. Unfortunately, it's not an easy fix and takes a long, long time.
My adrenal fatigue is because I spent several years dealing with incredible, constant stress. No relief, night or day. I'm sure I was in an almost constant state of fight or flight and/or total debilitating exhaustion. I had to keep going though.
About a month ago I realized that I simply must start exercising because I am now 61 and I'm starting to notice a bit of age-related soreness and stiffness here and there. So, I joined a gym. My main focus now is just to get there. Period. That's my big goal. Once I'm there, I use a cardio machine of some sort and do enough for long enough to make me sweat for at least 20 minutes plus a 5 minute warm-up and cool down. After that, I do some floor exercises and stretches. I do not hurry while I'm doing any of the above.
After a few days of flopping onto the couch when I got home, feeling awful, and not even being able to make supper or do anything, I adjusted. Now, as long as I do not overdo it, I can go home and continue on with my day. I'm not energized or anything that miraculous, but I'm not couch locked either. I also enjoy knowing that I did it, and that I'm finished exercising for the day. My goal is to get to the gym every single day because I want to establish it as a habit. On days when I'm physically tired, I go anyway. I will go slower on the machine and be patient and compassionate with myself. On days when I have legitimate pain from my chronic head/neck/shoulder problems, I don't go to the gym. I will try to go for a walk outside. At this stage of life I'm trying to listen to my body. (Obviously, I never used to, and pushed through everything, no matter what. That was really stupid, and I would not do it again. Trust me.) I don't get frustrated with myself if I miss a day, or if I don't get a super workout. Remember, my goal is just to get to the gym.
About three weeks ago I decided to join a twice per week spin class which was going on at the gym while I was there. I'm still attending it, but it was a mistake. The workout is too intense. I tried to keep up, even though I was new to it, and that was a mistake. I felt nauseated, light-headed and awful. Again, I was totally exhausted when I got home. I'm still going to the class, and I do push myself somewhat, but when it ends in a few weeks, I won't join again. I need to recognize my limits.
I've never been an exerciser. When I was younger I would join an aerobics class or a gym, I even lifted weights with a trainer for a week and a half. I never stuck with anything. However, I do remember experiencing endorphin rushes. I loved the rush. Instead of hating and being frustrated with what I was doing, I would feel good. It was a nice feeling of exhilaration. For me, I would describe it as a high. I do not experience endorphin rushes anymore. I wonder if it has to do with my worn-out adrenal glands. Who knows? I'll keep exercising and hoping that I'll experience the high again. When I was younger I was also able to really push myself. I never had negative after effects.
After about three intense spin classes, I started battling a cold. I haven't had a cold in years. I believe the intense exercise put too much stress on my immune system. I did not go to the next class and I took it really easy for a couple of days. I successfully battled the cold and it never fully manifested.
Although I'm a person who never gets bored, I realized that I found exercising at the gym really boring! Listening to upbeat music helps me with that. It also motivates me to move faster to the beat of the song. Also, if I use the recumbent bike I read a book. The time flies then.
I used to feel extremely frustrated when I would tell people how horrible I would feel while exercising and afterward. I would get the, "I know...it's tough and tiring to get started, but keep it up! Don't overdo it. Soon you'll feel great!" No one understood or seemed to believe that what I experienced was much different than 'normal.'
I believe what you're saying Segev. You've read what I'm finding helpful. Also, there are books and information available to read about adrenal fatigue. See if you recognize yourself.
Good luck. In the meantime, try to treat yourself with compassion. I hope you find something that works for you.
PS - Once, when I asked my doctor about exercise, he said, "If you feel like going for a ten minute walk, be sure you only go out five minutes and then head home for the next five. Otherwise, if you walk out ten minutes, you might be too exhausted to make it home."
He really got it. Unfortunately, he retired last year.