Using Humor to Boost Health
By Brandi Goodman
April is deemed National Humor Month. Now is a great time to get started laughing your way to better health. Humor can boost health in a number of ways as long as you're making the most of it. Don't expect a quick laugh to do much good. Spending time each day laughing, however, can be great medicine for the soul.
An Immune System Booster
A weak immune system quickly leads to illness. Laughing boosts the immune system because it reduces the amount of stress hormones in the system. This in turn allows antibodies to do their job of fighting off infections and keeping the body well.
A Reducer of Stress
Because the stress hormones get reduced when we laugh, our overall sense of stress is reduced or even eliminated. Endorphins are released instead. This causes a feeling of happiness. Tension is released from the body and your muscles can feel relaxed for up to 45 minutes after a good, hearty laugh.
A Heart Protectant
Blood flow is increased while you're burning calories, and this includes laughing. With better blood flow and improved function of blood vessels, laughter is good for protecting the heart. It reduces the risk for cardiovascular problems if you're laughing often.
A Calorie Burner
You might have heard people say they wish laughing burned calories. The thing is, it does. It isn't equivalent to a cardio workout, but laughter does in fact burn some calories worth mentioning. Spend just 10 to 15 minutes per day laughing and you'll burn 40 calories. The more you laugh, the more you'll burn. Imagine losing a few pounds per year just from laughing!
A Life Lengthener
People who laugh more tend to live longer. A Norwegian study found that those who maintained a sense of humor throughout their lives often experienced a longer lifespan. This is partly because of all the other health benefits laughter provides. If you have reduced stress, a well-functioning heart, and a boosted immune system, you're more likely to live a full life.
Laugh long and laugh often. Whether you need to spend a while watching cute cat videos on your phone or head to an actual comedy show to watch your favorite comedian, laughter works to boost health and make us feel better overall. Even a day spent with friends laughing and enjoying time together can work wonders toward reducing stress and promoting better health.
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Myrtle Beach, S.C.