What does all of this have to do with getting fit you may ask, well let me tell you. Laughter is as beneficial to the body as stress is as traumatic on it. According to studies, laughter does a lot of great things for us. It reduces the level of stress hormones and increases good hormones in the body like endorphins and neurotransmitters. Laughing also boosts one's immune system and that results in less illness and all the bad things that stress physically does to the body. Laughter makes us breathe easier. Also know that the more positive our outlooks are we can also increase longevity.
Think of Santa Clause (yes I know he's a fatty, but hear me out). When we laugh we "shake like a bowl full of jelly". Laughter provides an internal workout. This exercises the abs, diaphragm, shoulder muscles and stimulates the heart. William Fry, a laughter researcher found that it took up to ten minutes on a rowing machine for the heart rate to reach the level it would after just one minute of "enthusiastic laughing".
Laughing makes us feel better, we temporarily forgot about any pain we may have (physical and emotional). Our muscles are more relaxed after a good laugh and that makes us feel good too. In a recent study by cardiologists at the University of Maryland Medical Center, it was found that laughter may prevent heart disease and that it lowers blood pressure. Something they found in this study caught me by surprise, they found that people who had heart disease laughed less in their lives, even in good situations. They also were more outwardly angry, hostile and had much more anxiety. When we laugh we are much less likely to be depressed or feel helpless. How many depressed people do you know that laugh huh? Bernie Siegel, M.D., said, "The simple truth is that happy people generally don't get sick."
There are so many good things about laughing! It's a fantastic ice breaker and a way to connect with other people. It's also contagious. Statistics say that people are about 30 times more likely to start laughing in the presence of others than when they're alone. Some more statistics for us to try to soak in is the following: preschoolers laugh up to 400 times per day (can you imagine)? And young adults are lucky if they laugh 15 times a day (what a huge decrease). Another thing that stuck out to me was that they say that couples who laugh together stay together. It even plays a role in mating and men think it's hot when women laugh freely. Psychology Today said that women laugh more than men and men are often times the source of our laughter (maybe I should marry Dane Cook?). The woman's laughter is the primary determination in whether a relationship is healthy or not. So the secret to a great romantic relationship is...LAUGHTER :) It helps people to become close during good times and restore that closeness during bad times.
So what have we learned today, lets recap shall we. Laughter is the key to all aspects of a healthy life and it is enjoyable. Something healthy that we enjoy, insane right? No it's true. So keep on smiling, keep on laughing and you will stay happy and healthy (How cool is that?). So have you laughed today?