What do laughter and exercise have in common? Both of them can boost your health. Everyone sure does know about the benefits of having an active lifestyle, but did you know that laughter can give you benefits similar to that of a mild workout?
Laughter is a powerful remedy to stress, pain and conflict. Getting a good laugh is a fast and dependable way to balance your mind and body. Having a daily dose of humor lightens your burdens, inspires hopes, connects you to other people and keeps you up, focused and alert.
When we laugh, we change physiologically. Our muscles stretch throughout our face and body. Our pulse rate and blood pressure increase and we breathe faster, delivering more oxygen to our muscles.
The psychological benefits of laughter are incredible. Most often, people keep negativity in rather than letting them out. The negativity can be anger, sadness or fear. Laughter is a good way for these to be released in a positive way.
Why Laughter is Good for You
Boosts immune system. Negative thoughts manifest into chemical reactions that can have a stressful impact to your system, thus weakening your immunity. In contrast, positive thoughts release neuropeptides that help fight stress and potentially more serious illnesses.
Stimulates organs. Laughing energizes organs by increasing intake of oxygen-rich air. It stimulates your heart, lungs and various muscles. In addition, the brain releases more endorphins as you laugh.
Improves social skills. Laughter allows you to connect with others. Just as with smiling and kindness, many people find that laughter is contagious. Bringing more laughter into your life can most likely help other people around you to laugh more and benefit from it as well.
Relieves pain. Laughing triggers the release of endorphins, which are the body’s natural painkillers. People with chronic pain can benefit from laughter, making them feel less pain and feel good all over as well.
Lowers blood sugar levels. A study found that laughter after a meal is associated to lower blood sugar levels in people with and without diabetes. While there are various ways to manage blood sugar levels, laughter is thought to have a positive effect on them.
Provides burst of exercise. Laughing expands your lungs, stretches your muscles and stimulates homeostasis. This exercises your body, gaining all of its benefits. Laughter is also a calorie-burning exercise. As you laugh, you exercise your abdominal muscles, as well as your diaphragm, face, legs and back. All that stimulation burns 1 to 3 calories per minute.
Improves blood pressure and flow. Evidence shows that laughter helps your blood vessels function better. It helps your vessels to relax and expand, therefore improves blood flow. This benefits your heart and brain, two organs that require steady flow of oxygen carried in the blood.
Reduces stress. Laughter mimics a stress response with elevated heart rate and quick breathing. Then, as you stop laughing, that stress response drives away, leaving you feeling more relaxed.
Indeed, the numerous health benefits of laughter justify the saying, “Laughter is the best medicine”. So go ahead, laugh and experience its natural wonders.
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