Thursday, November 23, 2017
Health

Laughter really is good medicine

RECOMMENDED READING


When it comes to reducing stress and even improving the immune system, laughter is right up there with exercise and good nutrition. Seems like laughter was a natural occurrence when we were kids, but then we grew up, and life got more serious.

To quote E.E. Cummings, "The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.’’

Milton Berle had this to say: "Laughter is an instant vacation."

Laughing brings amazing benefits. It helps make us happier and healthier and is considered one of the best medicines for stress. As laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals kick in, reducing stress hormones and replacing them with energy.

And when your muscles become less tense, you begin to feel more relaxed and more alert, enabling you to focus on positive thinking, and not on negative thoughts that can adversely affect your body by increasing your stress levels and compromising your immune system.

Laughing boosts your immune system by increasing the circulation of antibodies that help ward off disease.

Fun fact: You don’t even have to have a sense of humor to laugh. Simulated laughter is just as therapeutic.

Need more reasons to let more laughter into your life? Laughing:

• Lowers blood pressure.

• Helps you stay mentally healthy. You can’t feel annoyed, sad or angry when you are laughing.

• Is contagious. Its positive energy helps you connect with other people.

• It works your abs. Muscles in the stomach expand and contract, while other muscles in the body are relaxed.

Laughter yoga

Laughter Yoga Clubs, which use certified instructors to explain and share different laughter exercises that can help you open up and laugh freely, are becoming more popular. And you don’t have to look too far to find one. There are clubs in Tampa, Clearwater and St. Petersburg. (For more information, do a quick internet search.)

The original Laughter Yoga Club was started in India in 1995 by a medical doctor and his wife, a yoga instructor. In addition to 10- or 15-minute laughing exercises, free sessions include breathing and stretching exercises and a 10-minute meditation.

Check with your doctor before starting a new exercise program. Sally Anderson is happy to hear from readers but can’t respond to individual inquiries. Contact her at slafit@tampabay.rr.com.

 
Comments
Big Tobacco’s anti-smoking ads begin after decade of delay

Big Tobacco’s anti-smoking ads begin after decade of delay

WASHINGTON — Decades after they were banned from the airwaves, Big Tobacco companies return to prime-time television this weekend — but not by choice. Under court order, the tobacco industry for the first time will be forced to advertise the deadly, ...
Published: 11/21/17

Owning dogs may be great for your heart and lower risk of death, study finds

Dog ownership correlates with lower rates of mortality and some fatal diseases, particularly cardiovascular disease, a study published this past week concluded.The study in the journal Scientific Reports found that canine ownership was associated wit...
Published: 11/19/17
New shingles vaccine touted as a breakthrough for older adults

New shingles vaccine touted as a breakthrough for older adults

Medical researchers and government health policymakers, a cautious lot, normally take pains to keep expectations modest when they’re discussing some new finding or treatment.They warn about studies’ limitations. They point out what isn’t known. They ...
Published: 11/17/17
BayCare’s HealthHub breaks ground behind Valrico shopping center

BayCare’s HealthHub breaks ground behind Valrico shopping center

VALRICO — Health care officials broke ground Thursday on the long anticipated HealthHub at Bloomingdale, which will bring about 150 jobs to an area that’s experiencing tremendous growth and provide patients with the latest in technological care.A pro...
Published: 11/16/17
Updated: 11/19/17
In Tampa Bay and elsewhere, early numbers show record sign-ups for Obamacare

In Tampa Bay and elsewhere, early numbers show record sign-ups for Obamacare

Despite the budget cuts, the attempts to repeal and replace, and reports of sharp rises in premiums, Floridians and other Americans are signing up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act at record rates this year.Enrollment has surged 47 p...
Published: 11/16/17
Updated: 11/17/17
Study: Mental quickness exercises can lower risk of dementia

Study: Mental quickness exercises can lower risk of dementia

Where did I leave my keys?As we age, it can take longer to answer a question like that.Humans begin to lose cognitive ability at age 25. Dementia, or the decline of memory most commonly seen in aging adults, takes hold early on and is gradual, but ac...
Published: 11/16/17
Making a list: holiday gift ideas for the water warrior, runner, fit foodie ...

Making a list: holiday gift ideas for the water warrior, runner, fit foodie ...

Given Santa’s legendary girth, one could justifiably question his ability to choose suitable gifts for the fitness-focused folks on his "nice" list. Dasher, Dancer and Prancer (all clearly more inclined to stay active) are always there to offer some ...
Published: 11/22/17
Mayo Clinic Q&A: gangrene causes and prevention; irregular bleeding

Mayo Clinic Q&A: gangrene causes and prevention; irregular bleeding

PEOPLE WITH DIABETES, PERIPHERAL ARTERY DISEASE AT INCREASED RISK OF GANGRENEI have heard that a stubbed toe can lead to gangrene in some individuals. Is that true? What are the signs of gangrene, and how can it be avoided?Gangrene, which refers to t...
Published: 11/15/17
Updated: 11/22/17
Blood pressure of 130 is the new ‘high,’ according to update of guidelines

Blood pressure of 130 is the new ‘high,’ according to update of guidelines

The nation’s heart experts tightened the guidelines for high blood pressure Monday, a change that will sharply increase the number of U.S. adults considered hypertensive in the hope that they, and their doctors, will address the deadly condition earl...
Published: 11/13/17
Are Honey Nut Cheerios healthy? A look inside the box

Are Honey Nut Cheerios healthy? A look inside the box

I had a bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios recently. It had been awhile. Regular Cheerios are more my thing. But sometimes I finish my box faster than my kids do and find myself straying to their side of the cupboard.Honey Nut is America’s best-selling break...
Published: 11/11/17