The Hormonal Benefits of Play

There’s two types of movement:

1.     There’s the “I have to” kind of movement. Often this is referred to as exercise and it requires a schedule and a certain heart rate. Often, we’ll be tired after, but it still feels good.

2.     The I-want-to kind of movement.  This is fun stuff. It’s the playing catch with your pup, running after your kiddos, and playing touch football with the neighbors. Often it’s fun. There’s laughing, giggling and all around silliness.

What’s the difference between these two?

One word:


In Chinese Medicine, the 6 primary organs in our body are associated with an emotion. For example, the liver is associated with anger and the kidneys with fear. Joy- my friends- goes straight for the heart.

Feeling joy- playing, laughing, goofing around- is pure medicine for the heart and your circulatory system.

How does this benefit your hormones?

Well... those hormones have to get from point A to point B somehow, so they travel in our blood.

Cultivating more joy can actually help our hormones by strengthening our heart and getting those hormones where they need to go.

Joy often comes from play.

If you’re feeling like you need more joy in your life, start by playing.

1.     Take the lead from your kids. Kids don’t have to learn how to play. They know how to play. They, in fact, are the masters of play. Move your body crazy, make silly sounds- follow their lead. Go ahead, copy them. They know how to play.

2.     Make it a game. Games (if you don’t take ‘em too seriously) are all about play. When you make it a game, absolutely anything can be joyful. Doing the laundry, making your bed, even vaccumming can be fun when you make it a game. Again….take notes from your kids.

3.     Smile. Just do it. It’s fun and it feels good.

4.     Laugh it off. If you’re taking life too seriously or you’re getting a bit defensive, go ahead and crack up at yourself. Laugh it off. Life’s way too short. Might as well have some more fun (wink, wink).

Play is inexpensive, it’s easy and it’s right at your beck and call. It’ll help your hormones and you’ll have fun doing it- guaranteed.

Here’s to having fun!