Laugh for Health (and You). June 28, 2011.

Every morning I skim through CNN’s headline news articles to maintain some knowledge of the outside world. This morning’s streaming updates left my usual bowl of oatmeal look a little grayer than normal. Words like ‘despair,’ ‘protest’ and ‘unrest’ ruled the main posts. Although largely removed from the strikes in Greece or the turmoil in the Arab world, I could not help but feel uneasy with the news. Is there nothing good happening?

Living a healthy lifestyle requires the balance of mind, body and soul. Although bad things happen, we must balance this despair with an understanding of the good. Having a realistic outlook is essential; allowing yourself to be defeated, however, is not. Laughter is necessary.

In fact, laughter is scientifically proven to be good for you. It reduces stress hormones such as dopamine and increases endorphins and neurotransmitters. Laughter also increases the number of antibody producing cells and enhances the effectiveness of T cells which, in turn, means you have a stronger immune system. In fact, laughing also exercises your diaphragm:  it contracts your abs and works out your shoulders*.

So, every once in awhile do yourself a favor and laugh for your health. Here’s a look at workouts past that will (hopefully) help you along the way:



*Elizabeth Scott”s article “The Stress Management and Health Benefits of Laughter”


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