Taylor Jo ’12
Turns out, that old saying you’ve heard may actually be true – Laughter may be the best medicine. How could this be true? Laughter affects us physically. We change physiologically when we laugh by stretching out the muscles in our bodies, raising our blood pressure, and by breathing faster, thus sending more oxygen to our tissues. Laughing, in a sense, is almost like a work out!
Laughing is a great, and quick way of raising your heart rate. William Fry, a pioneer in the research of laughter, claims that it took him 10 minutes on a rowing machine for his heart rate to reach the level it would after just one minute of hearty laughter!
Not only does laughing help your heart, but it also helps you burn calories. In an impressive study done by researcher Maciej Buchowski, he was reported saying, “It turned out that 10-15 minutes of laughter burned 50 calories.” However with this conclusion he added, “While the results are intriguing , don’t be too hasty ditching that treadmill. One piece of chocolate has about 50 calories; at the rate of 50 calories per hour, losing one pound would require about 12 hours of concentrated laughter!” Now, nothing I can think of is THAT funny.
Researchers have been studying for decades the effects of laughing on the human body, and has found positive contributions to things such as blood flow, the immune system, blood sugar levels, and relaxation and sleep.
Whether or not any of what I’m saying is actually true or not doesn’t mean you should withstand laughing in any case! Laughing is a great way to boost your energy and improves your quality of life. Plus, if we’re laughing at something we’re enjoying, do we really need a prescription?