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Exercise Doubles Your Happiness

Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA

Is it really true that blondes redheads have more fun? The vote may be out or rigged on that one given that we are redheaded twins. But how many of you believe that with more exercise and weight loss, you will increase your happiness?


Happy ginger twins

No, that is NOT K & A, darn it anyway.

Kymberly: Research now proves that exercisers are happier. Did you know that similar to exercise, laughter activates the pleasure pathways of the brain? Laughter acts a lot like a cardio workout, as they both enhance the immune system, increase longevity, help the heart, and build the lungs. Laughter also breaks up facial muscle tension. As well, according to Dr. William Sears in his book, Prime-Time Health, optimists outlive pessimists.

Laugh Club - Burn Those Calories

Nice shirt, Laughing Boy!

Alexandra: Heh heh heh (that’s me laughing while pedaling at my FitDesk). You can laugh your abs into shape too! But it does NOT count if you laugh at someone else’s abs.

K: Brain hormone Fit Fact — The stress hormones, cortisol and epinephrine actually decrease during and following laughter. Guess what other times stress hormone levels drop? Yup, post exercise. Coincidence or brilliance built into our bodies?

Beach Blanket Bump-Ups

This is NOT what I had in mind when you ladies asked about a threesome!

A: Whether I exercise OR laugh, there is definitely a LOT of brilliance built into my body. Actually, there’s so much, I think I got Kymberly’s share. Coincidence? I think not!

K: Can you imagine the double whammy benefit of combining a workout with a laugh or two? Laugh stat — children laugh an average of more than 400 times a day. Adults have toned that down to logging about one dozen laughs daily. Except the adults who tweet with @AlexandraFunFit, of course! They laugh more.

Laughter is great

She's laughing because someone else is doing the push-ups!

A: Oh, crap! Those are adults I’ve been tweeting with? Now you tell me. I might have to adjust my maturity level. Or my exercise routine.

K: So to increase both your fitness level and overall happiness, include humor in your daily exercise plan. Or find people to work out with who crack you up.

Happy exerciser

She's laughing because Chest Presses are SO fun!

A: Can I just do 200 push-ups and laugh once on the way down (from feeling so buff) and once on the way up (because I can’t actually get back up from a push-up 200 times – my body is brilliant, not bionic!)?

Happy Readers: What’s your favorite fun exercise routine? Family-friendly answers only please (okay, it’s actually up to you).

Photo credits: Creative Commons

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7 Responses to Exercise Doubles Your Happiness

  1. gerry July 25, 2011 at 6:57 pm #

    I am definitely a believer in what you are saying!

  2. JessLK721 July 25, 2011 at 9:14 pm #

    I was told years ago (I think it was my high school rowing coach, actually), that burning ~350cal 3x a week was a good for your mood and emotional well-being as taking an anti-depressant.

    That may not be COMPLETELY true, but it sure makes me think twice about skipping a workout!

  3. KymberlyFunFit July 26, 2011 at 8:35 am #

    Turns out your coach was telling the truth. Oodles (that’s a technical term) of research is now out showing the specific effects of cardio on mood and comparing medications to exercise. Fewer side effects with exercise, by the way! Same results. Hope your coach was in a good mood and not the yelling type!
    KymberlyFunFit recently posted..Exercise Doubles Your HappinessMy Profile

  4. Santa Barbara Coach July 31, 2011 at 9:31 am #

    There really is oodles of research about how happiness makes you physically healthier and increases your longevity. I was kind of hoping that I could just work on being happy without exercise and get those great benefits! LOL. Seriously, just reading your blog should make me healthier and live longer I would think! :)
    Dr. Lynn K. Jones, Certified Personal and Executive Coach
    Santa Barbara Coach recently posted..Executive Transitions and Succession Planning…Oh, My!My Profile


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