Golden-years adults need to stay physically active, mentally engaged, and socially involved in their community to enjoy good health. Laughter can help with all of these things. It’s an integral part of the physical activity piece! The more your body breaks down during laughter, the more calories you burn! Get to know the health benefits of laughter by reading the following about how laughter can improve your health.
Just like exercise, laughter can boost your endorphin levels. And if you’re not familiar with endorphins, they are compounds released by your brain that act as natural pain relievers and stress reducers. So basically, laughter is good for older adults because it gives them more energy and makes them feel happier!
Reduces Blood Pressure
Research conducted by cardiologists at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles found that laughter can be as effective as aerobic exercise at lowering blood pressure. Volunteers watched a collection of humorous videos, and their blood pressure fell more than 10 points, on average. Meanwhile, those who listened to nonhumorous audio recordings experienced no change in blood pressure. The finding reinforces what many people already know: Laughing is an incredibly stress-relieving activity that helps us feel better physically and mentally. The trick is to find something that makes you genuinely laugh—not just something amusing or amusing to you, but rather something that will cause genuine, gut-busting laughter.
Helps Fight Depression
Research shows that laughing can help release feel-good chemicals in your brain, like endorphins and dopamine. Endorphins are produced by your pituitary gland and travel through your bloodstream to create positive feelings. Dopamine is produced in areas of your brain related to memory, attention, learning, emotions, pleasure, and movement. Having lower dopamine levels is associated with Parkinson’s disease; however, studies show that laughter may help boost these levels naturally. Thus, laughter might be an effective way to slow down Parkinson’s disease progression or, at the very least, make symptoms easier to cope with for Parkinson’s disease sufferers.
Increases Blood Flow
When you laugh, your body reacts by sending more blood to your heart. More blood being pumped through your body means more nutrients are delivered throughout all of your organs, including your brain. Additionally, more oxygen is delivered throughout your body, allowing every organ to function better. Extra boost can greatly benefit Golden-age adults as they age and their bodies become less efficient at receiving oxygen and nutrients as quickly as they were younger.
The act of laughing promotes healthy fitness for older adults by triggering endorphins, which are chemicals in our bodies that make us feel good. Endorphins promote an increased pulse rate and blood pressure, much like exercise, while increasing energy levels and reducing stress. It can even improve endurance in activities like dancing or gardening.
Encourages Healthy Diet
Eating a diet rich in vegetables and fruits is vital for aging family members looking to stay fit; however, it’s all too easy to forget when you’re constantly thinking about work deadlines or household errands. Laughing not only triggers endorphins that improve energy levels, but it can even boost your immune system—allowing you to eat healthy without thinking about it.