Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Laughing My Abs Off, Seriously.

At the end of our Wednesday morning "Dynamic Conditioning Circuit" workout our class leader and my friend Ann mentioned how she loved a couple of my funnier blog posts. She even recommends them to her clients (thanks Ann!). That got me to thinking about what I was going to write today (because I often fly by the seat of my compression tights when it comes to what I am going to write). Then I got one of those Oprah "Ah-Ha!" moments. How about the simple subject of laughter?

 Funny Kid! Hahaha.
Just for fun I Googled "Laughter as Ab Workout." WOW! Huge list of links to choose from. I chose a couple that looked like they were more serious about the subject of laughter, which sounds like an oxymoron I know, but I didn't just want to read someone else's blog post about it (ha ha, but you're reading mine now. Just don't use it for your university research paper or something.)

First site I found interesting was from "The Official Web Site of Dr. Kataria: Laughter Yoga International, Global Movement for Health Joy & World Peace (Seriously?). They printed an article, courtesy of, entitled "10 Reasons Why Laughing is Good For You."

Another site from Guide, has a published article by Elizabeth Scott, M.S., called Stress Management & Health Benefits of Laughter.

Both articles reported similar findings on the benefits of laughter. Here is a condensed version of what they said:

According to Scott, "Research shows the health benefits of laughter are far-ranging. While more studies need to be done so far they have shown it helps relieve pain, bring greater happiness, and even increase immunity. Positive psychology names the propensity for laughter and a sense of humour as one of the 24 main signature strengths one can possess, and laughter yoga clubs are springing up across the country."

Ahhhhahaha! I'm gonna snort my milk!

So Laughter Yoga International must be one of those clubs! Cool! Many of the reasons for laughter that they list in their article are backed by Scott's article. Here's what they state:


  • Boosts the immune system
  • Reduces the level of stress hormones (Can relieve the blues and depression. In my case, I find it relieves the stress of knowing that my eldest child just signed 2 rental leases for university next year, and now has to scramble to find replacement tenants for one of the leases.)
  • Relieves pain (Releases those "feel good" endorphins. Should have tried this after the 30K.)
  • Improves social life (Apparently people with a good sense of humour are more productive at work.)
  • Boosts your relationship (Apparently men love women who laugh in their presence. I'm thinking probably not AT them, but as if they just told the funniest joke in the world.)
  • Is a good ab workout (It exercises the diaphragm, contracts the abs and even works the shoulders, making all those muscles feel a little more relaxed afterwards. As in LMAO - Laughing My Abs Off! Haha.)
  • Is a great distraction from feelings of anger, guilt, stress and negative emotions. (Not that I'm angry right now, but middle child just called to say she missed the bus, and can I pick her up at school. Ha ha ha. See how I laugh at these little irritating moments?)
  • Has social benefits (It's contagious! And elevates the moods of those around you.)
  • Helps us see certain life events that may seem threatening, in a more lighthearted way, so we see them as a challenge instead (Whether you're going through serious health issues or testing your mettle with a crazy obstacle race, humour helps us face the challenge.)
  • Provides a good physical and emotional release (Makes your insides feel "cleansed." I love it when I laugh so hard that I cry. Like when my practically bald husband pays $17 for hair styling gel.)
  • Protects the heart (Apparently a University of Maryland study showed those with heart disease laughed 40% less at certain situations than those without heart disease)
  • Lowers blood pressure. (I don't want to brag, but my doctor always praises me for my low blood pressure. "It's like a teenager's" she says.)
  • Improves breathing (Has a similar effect to deep breathing. As is "Next fall I will be paying for two children in university. Hahahahahaha. Deep breath. Deep breath.")
  • Helps with weight loss ("A hearty laugh raises the heart rate and speeds up metabolism" says the Yoga International article.)
Now, as far as weight loss goes, I would imagine you'd have to be laughing non-stop if that was the only workout you were doing. But still, that's a pretty impressive list of positive benefits for something we should all be doing far more than we probably do on a daily basis. (Apparently, says Scott, children laugh 400 times per day compared to adults who manage a measly 15 times.)

Nothing like a bit of laughter before a looonnnngggg run!

OK I gotta go pick up the daughter at school now...Cheers to a great day filled with laughter! (If you're in need of a laugh, kick back and watch a favourite funny movie, laugh with your friends, or take a gander at this funny and somewhat bizarre YouTube video I found. I could link it but I don't know how. If you look up "Workout Your Abs By Doing These Laughing Exercises" you will probably find it. It's by, and is part of

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