We've all heard the quote "laughter is the best medicine", but do you actually believe it? Do you really think laughing will help cure a headache or the flu? Maybe not, but new research shows that laughing may actually be good for your health.
We were already blessed with the information that hot baths are the same as walking for 30 minutes which, honestly, is life changing.
That study, from Loughborough University, showed that taking a hot bath actually burns the same amount of calories as going for a 30 minute walk. The study also revealed that peak blood sugar levels were lower after an hour-long bath in place of a bike ride. It also suggests that a hot bath can help reduce inflammation and ward off cardiovascular diseases.
Not everyone enjoys baths, however. Plus, finding the time to soak for an hour is difficult. But something we ALL have time for is laughing. That's why we're thrilled to hear the results of this new study.
Dr. Lee Berk, from Loma Linda University, California, conducted a study which saw volunteers watch 20 minutes of comedies and stand-up routines. They then had a series of health tests run, and the results were overwhelmingly positive.
Each volunteer saw a drop in stress hormones, blood pressure, and cholesterol. Dr. Berk concluded that "the body's response to repetitive laughter is similar to the effect of repetitive exercise. As the old biblical wisdom states, it may indeed be true that laughter is a good medicine."
Dr. Berk also monitored the year-long effects in diabetic heart patients, and he found that at the end of the study, patients who watched a television comedy program every day for a year required less blood pressure medication.
Dr. Berk says laughing is the same as "internal jogging", and can positively affect your health. Over the course of a laughter-filled year, the daily calories burnt from laughing result in a net loss of a little more than 4 pounds, this according to Colmenares. Laughing increases your metabolism and your heart rate, which are both important factors in losing weight.
Now, it's not like you can cancel your gym membership and just start watching stand-up specials, but every little bit helps, right?