Science!: Please Feed the Bears!

Lauren Admire | 3 May 2010 21:00

Don't Exercise, Laughercise

Don't have time to exercise? Just laugh, instead.

Back in the 1970s, a man named Norman Cousins discovered the healing power of laughter. He was diagnosed with heart disease, and self-prescribed himself a diet heaping in Vitamin C and laughter. He documented this process and found that there were some tangible benefits from laughing it up. "I made the joyous discovery that ten minutes of genuine belly laughter had an anesthetic effect and would give me at least two hours of pain-free sleep," Cousins explains. "When the pain killing effect of laughter wore off, we would switch on the motion picture projector again, and not infrequently, it would lead to another pain-free interval."

Two researchers - Dr.Lee S.Berk and Dr.Stanley Tan have been focusing on the healing power of laughter extensively. So far, they've found that mirthful laughter (the deep laughter that resonates from your belly) helps regulate hormones, decreases stress, increases antibody production, and activates the body's protective cells.

In fact, "laughercise," as they call it, makes the body respond in the same way that physical exercise does. So, next time you're too tired to get to the gym and still want all of the positive effects from it, (despite the weight loss, I imagine), just go watch a comedy flick.

Source: Science Daily


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