Whether you want to escape from a bad day or a broken heart, laughter has been reported to have a number of health benefits. More and more studies show that laughter has both positive short-term and long-term effects on your well-being. A few short-term benefits include relieving stress, soothing tension, and improving your mood, whereas long-term effects include lowering blood pressure, mitigating depression, and boosting your immune system.
Certain effects of laughter also resemble exercise. A Vanderbilt University study found that laughing raises your energy expenditure and heart rate by 10 to 20 percent. Furthermore, one researcher reported that it took 10 minutes on a rowing machine to reach the same heart rate as just one minute of hearty laughter.
In other words, 10 to 15 minutes of daily laughter could burn the calorie-equivalent of roughly four pounds a year! But don’t give up your exercise routine just yet. Instead, try laughing while you’re working out for even better results. “Combining laughter and movement, like waving your arms, is a great way to boost your heart rate,” psychologist and laugh therapist Steve Wilson told WebMD.
If none of these reasons is enough for you to start chuckling yet, consider the impact that laughter has on your memory. Earlier this year, researchers at California’s Loma Linda University looked at the link between humor and mental agility, comparing groups of older adults that watched funny videos versus control groups that didn’t. They found that those who laughed - even for just 20 minutes - performed significantly better at learning and memory recall tests later on - in fact, about twice as well!
Health benefits aside, we could all use more laughter in our lives. What makes you laugh? Tell us for the chance to win a $100 gift card! Visit the Mango Health Facebook page and complete the following sentence: ”I laugh when….”
We look forward to reading your responses!