Use Humor to Tackle This Big Adventure

Syndicated

USA TODAY OwnIt


As a personal trainer, let me say something shocking: Exercise doesn’t sound like fun. It sounds like prescription medicine, or some mystical elixir of life, conjured up only through the little-known dark arts of alchemy. If only it were that simple. If only magic could get thee to the gym.

Our nation is being met with an obesity epidemic. Let me repeat that: obesity epidemic! We are having a health crisis that is epidemic in proportion to our population. For the first time in the last two centuries the average life expectancy is expected to decline.
Christopher Murray, director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington wrote:

“Life expectancy decline is something that has traditionally been considered a sign that the health and social systems have failed, as has been the case in parts of Africa and Eastern Europe. The fact that this is happening to a large number of Americans should be a sign that the U.S. health system needs serious re-thinking.”

So, given these startling facts, you might think the state of our health and fitness in the United States is no laughing matter. I think that’s wrong.

Woman Exercising on Floor


I just read “8 Health Benefits of Laughter” posted on Melissa Breyer’s website www.care2.com. Breyer writes:

“Humor works quickly. Less than a half-second after exposure to something funny. electrical wave moves through the higher brain functions of the cerebral cortex. The left hemisphere analyzes the words and structures of the joke; the right hemisphere ‘gets’ the joke; the visual sensory area of the occipital lobe creates images; the limbic (emotional) system makes you happier; and the motor sections make you smile or laugh.”

Given the intricate nature of laughter, and the physical response that occurs, laughter is one of the perfect ways to unite your mind and body. People are so much more likely to tackle the very personal issues of health and fitness if they feel safe, and if they can laugh about it. Let’s face it, the gym is a strange and mysterious place. People do silly things there. You don’t need to watch reality TV shows to get that zing that goes along with bizarre human behaviors. You just need to get to the gym more often.

If you can’t bear to go to the gym (it is irksome), put on a DVD, some good music and just start with some simple things that you can do three-five times per week at home. If you start with the goal of working out 5 times a week, but you only do it three times, that’s a huge difference in your life. Start working out now and you’ll be laughing later, when you think to yourself about how impossible it seemed in the very beginning of it all. Getting your mind and body together on this one will go a long way.

By Elizabeth Pongo, Special to Your Life on USA TODAY's OwnIt

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