We have all heard that “laughter is the best medicine”, right? Well did you know that 15 minutes of laughter can burn nearly 10-40 calories? Think about it. We change physiologically when we laugh. Using various muscles in our body, our pulse and blood pressure go up, and we breathe faster, requiring more oxygen…all resulting in calories burned. So, can we really laugh off the unwanted lbs?! While you’d have to laugh for 12 straight hours to lose a single pound, the point is, laughter does actually burn calories.
Now I’m not suggesting that you divorce kettlebells and quit the gym all together. Let’s not get crazy. I’m simply agreeing with the experts that “laughter is the best medicine.” Aside from burning calories, laughing decreases stress hormones (cortisol, adrenaline and dopac) and an increases beta-endorphins (which lowers depression). Plus, exercise and laughter have more in common than you think — both boosting energy, mood and overall health!
Note: Cortisol, a.k.a. the “stress hormone”, is responsible for regulating blood pressure, cardiovascular functions and the body’s use of macronutrients. While cortisol plays an important role in the body’s response to stress, it is imperative that we are able to keep our bodies in a relaxed environment. Why? Unfortunately the negative effects of cortisol outweigh the positive. Prolonged high levels of cortisol means that you are more susceptible to illness, infections and other health related risks such as:
- Increased appetite
- Increased body fat caused by stress-eating
- Imbalanced blood sugar
- High blood pressure
- Loss of muscle mass
- Decreased metabolism
- Decreased immune system
So, laugh if off y’all. Smile. Giggle. Chuckle. Snort. Be silly.