Laugh Your Way To Better Health
Laughter is a physical reaction in humans and some other species of primates, consisting typically of rhythmical, often audible contractions of the diaphragm and other parts of the respiratory system. It is a response to certain external or internal stimuli. We change physiologically when we laugh. We stretch muscles throughout our face and body, our pulse and blood pressure go up, and we breathe faster, sending more oxygen to our tissues.
Laughter can be like a mild workout, and may offer some of the same advantages as a workout, with increased feel good endorphins, and increased energy. And laughter appears to burn calories, too. Maciej Buchowski, Ph.D. and Research Professor of Medicine, Vanderbilt University, conducted a small study in which he measured the number of calories expended during laughter. It turned out that 10-15 minutes of laughing burned 50 calories.
Let’s do the math: if you laugh 17 times a day multiplied by 50, you would burn 850 calories a day. Times 7 days in a week, the number of calories burned would be 5,950 calories. Since there are 3,500 calories in one pound, one could easily burn off 1.7 pounds a week, losing about 88 pounds in one year! How’s THAT for a weight loss program?!