It’s been proven many times—people that are healthy and fit tend to be happier. But is it because they have more confidence, are more active and have a bigger sense of self-worth? Or could it be because they’ve laughed their way to six-pack abs? Perhaps both!

In studies conducted a few years back, researchers in California found that repetitive laugher can actually affect hormones in the same way that exercise does. How so? Laughter reduces the incidence of stress hormones in the body by relaxing our muscles and relieving pain. Laughter actually increases the endorphin levels in the body—those chemicals that allow us to feel so good when we’re working out.

Looking for a double-whammy during your workout? Try laughing while exercising (and don’t be shy about it!). Do those physical exercises that allow for laughter (like crunches, weight lifting and body weight exercises) and try giving a hearty belly laugh. Laughing while working out is like adding a sprint to a long run—it lets your heart beat faster and your abdominals tighten. But we may recommend trying this at home first, rather than your popular gym…unless you don’t mind some quizzical reactions.

Feeling a little uneasy about laughter during a workout? Try it out with a friend (and maybe one that is typically comical). Try laughing about real things while you work out. Talk, joke around and laugh your way to a better, more effective work out.

And in the meantime, check out this video and see just how hilarious (and truthfully bizarre) laughing while working out can be:


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