laughter is medicine—haven’t you heard someone say, “laughter is the best medicine”? 

 in working with clients i’ve also heard them say  “wow,  laughter is abdominal work!!!”.  we’ve often laughed during workouts and the next day a client will comment:  “wow, i sure feel my abs after that workout yesterday!”.  these words have been said without realizing it was the laughter that caused abs to work and give that deep worked feeling. 

The transverse abdominal muscle wraps around the center of the trunk from front to back supporting the organs within abdominal area.  this muscle is a breathing muscle which assists in exhalation.  you can feel your abs working when laughing.  vocalists use breathing exercises to strengthen this area which in turn strengthens their vocal ability and performance.  laughing and breathing seem to me to both work to strengthen our abdominal area. muscles used when laughing include the diaphragm, abdominal, respiratory, facial muscles, leg and back muscles.

Scientists have found that  laughing one hundred times is equal to a ten-minute workout on a rowing machine, or fifteen minutes on an exercise bike. Laughter helps promote healing in the body by lowering blood pressure and increasing blood flow. When we laugh, the production of T -cells that destroy tumors and viruses increase, and more Gamma interferon (which is a disease fighting protein) is released. Laughter has been found to reduce the amount of stress hormones and help us cope with our lives better. When others laugh, sometimes the laughter can be contagious. (Idea Fitness Journal,  march 2002)

laughter has also been noted to reduce stress.  our bodies appear to relax when laughing which reduces anxiety.  counselors, psychologist and psychiatrist often prescribe exercise to reduce stress and anxiety. i’ve read where they also encourage laughter and remind us that  sometimes stress can be created by our own perceptions.  for example, repeatedly loosing your car keys—-try laughing at the situation, make an extra set “or two, maybe three” and move on—laughing at ourselves might be a good exercise to consider practicing often.

hey, we’ve discovered a riddle:  what is both medication and a workout????     send me one of your riddles or jokes and i’ll add “em to this post, and laugh/exercise while doing it!!!!

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