by Cord Prettyman
Master Personal Trainer


Bigfork, Montana 59911


By Appointment Only

Given the sorry state of the Union with massacres, wildfires, a nation-wide drought, crippling unemployment and an unrelenting assault of negative political ads, I felt I needed to write something positive this week. So, I dipped into my vast reservoir of wisdom to share with my female readers the “five secrets for a great relationship with a man.”

First, it is important to find a man who has a job, works around the house and occasionally cooks. Next, it is imperative to find a man who makes you laugh.

The third secret is to find a man who is dependable and doesn’t lie. Fourthly, it is desirable to find a man who is romantic, passionate and great in bed.

And finally, it is imperative that these four men never meet!

Hopefully, that gave you ladies out there a chuckle. My apologies to my male readers for a joke at their expense.

Laughter is a powerful antidote to stress, pain and conflict. No other medicine known to man works faster or more dependably to bring your mind and body back into balance than a good laugh.

Humor lightens your burdens, inspires hope and connects you to others. With so much power to heal, the ability to laugh easily and frequently is a tremendous resource for surmounting life’s problems, enhancing your relationships and supporting good physical and mental health – plus, it’s a pretty good workout for your body.

The act of laughing seems quite natural but the funny thing is that humans are the only species that laughs. Ever wonder exactly what goes on when you laugh?

It turns out that laughter is actually a complex response that involves numerous areas of the brain that elicits the physiological response of a set of gestures and the production of a sound. When we laugh the brain pressures us to conduct both those activities simultaneously.

Fifteen facial muscles contract, the respiratory system is disrupted making you gasp for air and – in extreme circumstances – the tear ducts are activated. The noises that usually accompany this bizarre behavior range from sedate giggles to boisterous guffaws.

There is a significant amount of research being conducted on laughter and the activity it elicits in the brain. The physiological study of laughter is known as gelotology and is done mostly by behavioral neurobiologists.

The driving motive for the research is the belief that, if we were able to unravel the mystery of laughter, we would gain tremendous insight into the working of the human brain. Many researchers believe that the purpose of laughter is related to making and strengthening human bonds.

Laughter occurs when people are comfortable and open with each other. The more laughter there is – the more bonding occurs within the group.

Some scientists believe that laughter is a social signal. Recent studies seem to confirm this theory proving that people are thirty times more likely to laugh in a social setting than when alone.

There are three theories about what we find humorous. The incongruity theory suggests that humor arises when logic and familiarity are replaced by things that don’t normally go together. In other words, a joke becomes funny when we expect one outcome and another happens. The superiority theory contends that we laugh at jokes that focus on someone else’s mistakes, stupidity or misfortune and the relief theory suggests we use laughter to reduce tension or suspense.

Why is laughter so important? We’ve long known that laughter is helpful in coping with major illnesses and with the stress of everyday life. Today, however, researchers are demonstrating that laughter can actually boost the body’s immune system, thereby helping fight off diseases.

If that’s not reason enough to chuckle, other studies estimate that laughing 100 times is equal to fifteen minutes on an exercise bike. In fact, laughing can stimulate your diaphragm, abdominal, facial, leg and back muscles resulting in a total-body workout.

Here’s an idea, forget about the sorry state of the Union and laugh yourself into shape?

Cord Prettyman is a certified Master Personal Trainer and owner of Absolute Workout Fitness and Post-Re-hab Studio in Woodland Park. He can be reached at 687-7437 or by email at