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7 Ways Laughter Can Benefit Your Workout


By Samantha Samuelson
Posted on 28 Apr, 2015


7 Ways Laughter Can Benefit Your Workout When you laugh, all your body systems are affected in a positive manner, in a way that contributes to your fitness workout. But before you read on, let’s be clear about one thing. You can't increase leg muscle strength by sitting and laughing. So don’t ditch your exercise routine for season tickets to the comedy club. Laughter is great when incorporated into your exercise routine, for they hold the following benefits.

 

Increases Pain Threshold

Increase Pain ThresholdLaughter plays a vital part in raising the body’s level and release of endorphins, which are known to play a crucial role in the management of pain. Like other opiates, endorphins induce a natural feeling of euphoric calm and well-being. When your endorphins are kicking, your mind and body are less susceptible to the pain that sometimes comes with exercise. An example of this is when a runner experiences a “runner’s high,” which occurs when he or she is awash in natural analgesics.

Keeps You Loose And Flexible

FlexibleWhen you are laughing, the muscles in your stomach expand and contract, similar to when you intentionally exercise your abs. It’s called a belly laugh for a reason. The result is not only a mini workout crunch but also a release of tension throughout the body to keep your muscles loose and limber during your workout. Laughing also decreases cortisol and epinephrine, the hormones that are released when you are under stress. When you are stressed, your body tends to be tight and more susceptible to injury.

Motivates You To Exercise

Cycling PartnersWhile many forms of exercise may leave you tired, laughter leaves you bursting with energy and ready for anything. They make working out fun, not tedious. Laughter is good for your mood and for social bonding. It can bring people together and establish amazing connections. Everything from a slight giggle to a side-splitting guffaw can change the temperature of a room from chilly unfamiliarity to a warm family-like atmosphere. Camaraderie at the gym or among running buddies encourage you to get out and exercise. Instead of approaching your workouts with dread, your mind will over time form an association between exercise and fun.

Strengthens Your Lungs And Breathing

Upside down on monkey barsLaughter involves the repeated, forceful exhalation of breath from the lungs. The muscles of the diaphragm have to work very hard. We’ve all heard the phrase “laugh until it hurts.” That pain isn’t metaphoric; prolonged laughing can be painful and exhausting. The process of emptying your lungs has a positive effect on the respiratory system. An excellent stimulation of your lungs, much like power-breathing yoga, gives you little aerobic bursts when done between workouts.

Lowers Your Blood Pressure

Eating BananaLaughter lowers your blood pressure and ease the natural flow of blood through your body, improving cardiovascular strength. A 2005 study at the University of Maryland Medical Center found that when in a happy state, the inner lining of blood vessels known as endothelium expands and prevents platelets from clumping. This boosts blood circulation, which is important for distributing oxygen to your muscles and organs during exercise. When a person is under stress, the reverse happens: there is noticeable vasoconstriction or narrowing of the blood vessels.

Boosts Your Immune Function

Drinking Green JuiceAfter you engage in intense exercise, your body becomes more susceptible to sickness as it tries to repair itself. Laughter can help you stay healthy for future workouts.

Doctors have found that people who have a positive outlook on life tend to fight diseases better than people who tend to be more negative. But why is that? The answer is in your T cells.

T cells are specialized immune system cells just waiting in your body for activation. When you laugh, you activate T cells that immediately begin to help you fight off sickness. A merry heart is good medicine. There is plenty of other data to support that.

Laughter In Itself Is Exercise

Friends On Monkey BarsIs laughter a kind of exercise? Well, laughter is fundamentally a physical action. When you're laughing, everything is moving. The internal organs are moving. So yes, laughing provides low impact exercise and burns calories without special equipment, environment or clothing.

A good belly laugh exercises the diaphragm, tones the abdomen, diaphragm, intercostal, respiratory accessory, musculo-skeletal system, midsection, muscles in the back, abdominal organs and intestinal tract. It even provides a good workout for the heart and lungs.

The diaphragm is the only muscle in the body attached to other muscles. This is why laughter jogs all your internal organs. The mere act of laughing exercises the diaphragm, as well as the abdominal, respiratory, facial, leg, and back muscles.

Final Word

Physical fitness stemming from laughter is a benefit known to few. It is much more than just an emotional response to something funny, but is an action which elicits a physiological response similar to that of exercise. We don’t, however, recommend that you laugh and not exercise, but we do recommend that you try to laugh on a regular basis.


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