Having a laugh

13 September 2015

When was the last time you had a good laugh, not a little giggle or a bit of a chuckle, but a full on belly laugh? If the answer is ‘I can’t remember’ … read on…

There are thousand upon thousands of research papers all concluding laughing is good for you. But it isn’t any old laugh it has to be that full on belly laugh.

So what happens when you laugh? Well you actually get a whole bodywork out!

One of the well-known benefits of laughing is how it causes the release of endorphins the body’s natural pain killing chemical. However, it goes a lot further than that:

  • You get the benefits of an aerobic exercise session, your heart rate increases, as does your blood pressure, you breathe quicker and your oxygen intake increases
  • You exercise your facial muscles, shoulders, arms, abdomen, diaphragm and legs
  • Your body then becomes relaxed and returns to a healthy state.

Laughing can contribute to weight loss. According to Dr Maciej Buchowski, from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, when we laugh our energy expenditure is 10 to 20 percent higher than when we are at rest.

And if that is not enough, how do you feel if you’ve had a fun day at work? A study by Duane Smelser found that people who are lighthearted, having fun and in good spirits are more likely to be successful.

So next time you hear a joke like:

What did the duck say to the waiter ‘put it on my bill’

What’s Forrest Gump’s email password? 1forrest1

Go on.. laugh out loud! Laughter really is the best medicine!

A last thought:

Life without laughing is a dreary blank.

~ William Makepeace Thackeray, from Sketches and Travels in London (1856).

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