Laughter Is Good Exercise – Here’s 8 Reasons Why

Three years ago I completed my Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology – Life Coaching. I only mention it because I am 60 years old and want to say, “Go for it ladies!” Don’t let age stop you from anything you want to accomplish! I had to do a video presentation for my Communications class and I chose to do it on LAUGHTER is the best medicine! Where would I be without it? How about you?

My video presentation was entitled “Laughter is Medicinal.” I’m sure you have heard that it is the BEST medicine. But did you know that it is great EXERCISE too?!? Yes! Let me tell you the facts! How does laughing make you feel? Can you remember a time when you laughed so hard your belly hurt, your throat constricted and tears ran down your face? According to the Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humor and studies done at the Univelaughterrsity of Maryland, these responses, along with others, hold many health benefits. Now for the facts!

8 Ways Laughter Is Good Exercise

1) It reduces stress hormones, which boosts the immune system.

2) While laughing, natural killer cells, called T-cells and B-cells, are increased. They destroy tumors and viruses in the body.

3) It protects the heart. Researchers have determined that laughing 100 times is equal to riding a bike for 15 minutes – cardiovascular exercise! This explains why you are often tired after a good laugh. So… a minute of laughing or 15 minutes on a bike?

4) When you laugh, blood receives oxygen; so, blood flow is increased and blood pressure is lowered.

5) Laughter is healing for the mind and emotions. It adds joy and zest to life!

6) Laughing can provide the needed release when we find ourselves overloaded with negative emotions such as anger, stress, sadness or fear.

7) It promotes a feeling of well-being and can reduce pain. Helpguide.org states, “Laughing releases endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals.”

8) Laughter is related to making and strengthening our human connections. It feels good to laugh with people. It adds to our sense of well-being.

I can personally attest to the healing power of laughter. I had a volatile upbringing, but somehow, humor became an integral part of my life. I was voted ‘class clown’ and ‘wittiest’ in my senior year of high school in 1975 and MC’d a few comedy fund raisers. I know firsthand that laughter holds great medicinal value.

In closing, I’d like to quote Patch Adams, a medical doctor who uses humor in his care of patients. “Remember laughing? Laughter enhances the blood flow to the body’s extremities and improves cardiovascular function. Laughter releases endorphins and other natural mood elevating and pain-killing chemicals, improves the transfer of oxygen and nutrients to internal organs. Laughter boosts the immune system and helps the body fight off disease and cancer cells, as well as viral, bacterial and other infections.”

So Ladies… One minute of laughing, or 15 minutes on a bike? Your choice! By the way, if you haven’t seen Patch Adams with Robin Williams, it’s a must see!


Works Cited

http://health.howstuffworks.com/mental-health/human-nature/otheremotions/laughter.htm
http://www.helpguide.org/life/humor_laughter_health.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patch_Adams

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Rachel
Rachel
4 years ago

Hi Robin, It’s great to see supporting evidence for what I think we all know to be true! I can’t help wondering what ‘laughing 100 times’ is though? Is that 100 individual ‘ha’s’? As in ‘ha, ha,ha’ would be 3 laughs? I’m glad you said at the end that it would be a minute of laughing, but it did send me off on a tangent wondering about how we measure laughter because there is certainly a difference between a polite titter (marvellous word that, isn’t it?!) and a good, all-out, gut wrenching, blinded by tears, until you’re breathless, laugh. That… Read more »

Lauren Kinghorn
Lauren Kinghorn
4 years ago

Hi Robin, ooh… I loved Patch Adams! And all Robin Williams’ movies! I was devastated to discover that he took his own life, and suffered from depression for years, as through his movies, he gave us all such hope. Now when I watch his movies, I can’t help but feel sadness behind the surface of his happy exterior.
Excellent article though, and maybe this explains why children are so much happier than adults. They laugh so readily and so often.

Robin
Robin
4 years ago

I’m with you Lauren. His death had an impact on me and sadness was the top emotion. I think we all experience days when we’d like to be ‘out of here’, but to get to the place where you’d plan and execute your execute your exit is really, really sad… and devastating to those who are touched by your life. Robin had so many great movies that touched us all. I wish he could have kept that childlike happiness, and kept laughing….

Liz
Liz
5 years ago

You rock. I love this page. I am a firm believer in laughter. I used it in the classroom for 34 years, it was a great way to diffuse tension and avoid confrontations. I never sent a student to the principle’s office. I just cracked a good comment and everyone would laugh and calm down. So not only is it healthy, but it helps in tense situations. I am a firm believer in the healing power of laughter. Thanks for confirming it!!!

JP
JP
5 years ago

Awesome article. I really liked the fact that you, even after all the years, still decided to get you degree in psychology. It shows that you really go for what you want. Even when we feel down, it’s so important to always chase our dreams so that we can feel alive an accomplished. And even if we don’t attain a certain objective, we’ll always grow.

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