Want a Healthier Heart? Do This Every Day
Here's something easy you can do daily that's good for your heart in more ways than one.
It may sound like a barrel of monkeys, but a laugh a day may be just what the doctor ordered. Research suggests a good laugh not only does your heart good, but may improve the long-term health of your heart.
One of the biggest benefits of laughter is that it helps reduce stress. Chronic levels of stress can increase the risk of many health issues, from heart attack, stroke and diabetes to depression and anxiety.
In addition to easing stress, research suggests laughing may also:
- Decrease blood pressure
- Reduce artery inflammation
- Increase HDL ("good" cholesterol)
- Improve blood flow
- Lessen pain
- Reduce muscle tension
- Boost the immune system
- Improve morale
- Provide an energy boost
- Enrich quality of life
Although research on the subject is limited, a laugh a day may be just what you need to keep your heart healthy and improve your overall well-being.
Unfortunately, adults don't laugh nearly enough. The average child laughs about 300-400 times a day. But the average adult only laughs about 26 times daily. As adults, we're much less likely to live in the moment and just let out a good hearty laugh. But there's no reason not to chuckle any chance you get. It's good for your heart in more ways than one.
If you're looking for an easy way to improve your health, don't forget to laugh each day. It's fun. It's free. And it's easy to do. Hang out with funny people, read a humorous book, tell yourself a joke or watch a silly movie. Laughter is contagious and can help you deal with life's difficulties. It can also enhance relationships and simply makes you feel good.
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Date Last Reviewed: May 20, 2021
Editorial Review: Andrea Cohen, Editorial Director, Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Contact Editor
Medical Review: Perry Pitkow, MD