The healing power of laughter
We've all heard how laughter is the best medicine, but what you may not know is how exactly it helps. Recent studies have shown that not only is laughter good for you, it can help you in a surprising number of ways. Here are 3 ways laughter can really help your body, according to science.
A 2014 study looked at older men and women in their 60s and 70s. It compared a group that looked at humorous videos, versus a group that didn't. They were then asked to do a short memory test. The group that laughed for 20 minutes did much better on the tests than the group that didn't.
Protects against heart disease
Memory isn't the only thing improved by laughter, the University of Maryland also conducted a study that found laughter is good for your heart. The research was done on 20 healthy adults, and found that while their blood vessels constricted during stressful videos, they relaxed during humorous ones.
One of the researchers responsible for the study, Dr. Miller, said regarding the research, “The magnitude of change we saw in the endothelium is similar to the benefit we might see with aerobic activity, but without the aches, pains and muscle tension associated with exercise. We don’t recommend that you laugh and not exercise, but we do recommend that you try to laugh on a regular basis. Thirty minutes of exercise three times a week, and 15 minutes of laughter on a daily basis is probably good for the vascular system.”
Helps in weight loss
Laughter can actually help burn a significant number of calories. Have you ever laughed so hard your sides hurt? According to one study conducted by Vanderbilt University, laughing for 10-15 minutes can burn as much as 50 calories. While that doesn't seem like much, when all you have to do is pop in a funny movie to get those results, its one exercise routine that's easy to achieve.
Laughter is good for us on almost every level, and it feels good too. The next time you want to give your body a boost, watch something hilarious. Your body will thank you.