How many times a day do you laugh? If itâ€™s not at least once, you are missing out on one of the easiest (and most fun) ways to health and vitality. It turns out that a good belly laugh has several healthy benefits:
It tightens and tones. Laughing works the muscles in your face, shoulders and abs. Your heart rate increases and you breathe more deeply which supplies more oxygen to your blood. A long, robust laugh can burn as many calories per hour as brisk walking. In essence, laughing is a mini workout!
Itâ€™s a pain-free face lift. Due to the above benefits, you look more youthful. Your cheeks become rosy and your face looks more toned.
Itâ€™s cheaper than aspirin. Researchers have found that laughing causes the body to release hormones which help to both reduce pain and decrease sensitivity to pain.
Itâ€™s a great stress-buster. In numerous studies laughter has been shown to effectively reduce stress. While laughing, neurotransmitters are released which cause a sense of euphoria and a release of tension and anxiety.
Itâ€™s safer than a flu shot. Research has also demonstrated that laughing increases the amount of antibodies in saliva. This means that a good laugh boosts your immune system. In fact, those who regularly use humor as a way to cope with stress show consistently higher levels of these antibodies.
The most positive effects are seen when you laugh daily. If youâ€™re not used to accessing your humorous side, try renting a funny movie or browsing the humor section of the library. Even forcing yourself to smile causes your brain to begin releasing neurochemicals that lift your mood. Why not give it a try?