I have been reading a lot about the benefits of laughter. One surprising benefit of laughter is a healthier heart!
When you laugh, your heart rate increases and the amount of oxygen in your blood increases due to the deep breaths involved with laughter. This can improve your vascular function and decrease your risk of heart attacks. As you improve your vascular function and circulation, you also reduce your risk of being diagnosed with heart disease.
Laughing has been shown to reduce stress and pain levels. The act of laughing stimulates hormones called catecholamines, which release endorphins into your body. Endorphins help to counteract cortisol, a stress hormone, and help to relax your muscles. Relaxing can help to lower your blood pressure, decrease your anxiety levels, and boost your mood. Researchers at Michigan State University found that a good laugh can “relieve physical tension in the body and relax the muscles for up to 45 minutes.”
So go ahead and give it a try! Read the comics in the Sunday paper, watch your favorite comedy show, spend time with people who make you laugh, or just turn your frown upside down and laugh.
Your heart will thank you!
Do you want to learn more about heart health in a fun way?
Sign up for the Ohio State University Extension’s award-winning, Live Healthy Live Well 6-week email wellness challenge, Strong @ Heart.
I will send you two weekly emails from February 1 – March 15, 2021.
What is the cost? It is FREE!!
Who can participate? Any adult with an email account.
How do I sign up? You can register with this link: https://go.osu.edu/LHLWWest
Be Healthy, Be Well, and Be Strong @ Heart!