Laughter as Medicine

It's no secret that laughter is great medicine, but when was the last time you allowed laughter into your workouts? It's easy to laugh at comedians, or jokes, or the silly things in movies or TV, but one of the best things we can do is be able to laugh with ourselves. When we judge, condemn, belittle, or berate ourselves, especially when it comes to what we look like, or how "well" we are working out, we take the fun out of it all. It would be weird if we all looked the same, and yet we somehow have an expectation that there is a certain "look" we all have to have to fit in and be healthy. I just had 2 babies. My body is forever changed. It would be easy to sit around and beat myself up because I am not back in my pre-maternity clothes. But if I did that, I would miss the beauty of what my body has accomplished and the miracle that it is doing to provide nourishment to grow our boys. So I laugh about how sexy my momma body is, and actually do my best to believe it. I don't laugh at myself, I laugh with myself, and for myself.

Research shows laughter reduces cortisol and other stress hormones in addition to increasing our T cell activity which boosts our immune system.  When we have a good laugh we also gain perspective and allow things that would normally feel threatening to be more of a challenge that we get to master.  Belly laughing is also one of the best ab exercises you can do because we use the diaphragm more correctly than with traditional abdominal exercises.

So put on a silly outfit, sing in front of the mirror, wear a goofy hat, tell a few jokes between sets, or share a funny thing about your life with a workout buddy.  Whatever your smile fancies!