Health Benefits of Regular Laughter

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August 24, 2018
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Health Benefits of Regular Laughter

Laughing Moments

At Legacy Village in Provo, laughter and smiles are a big part of the goals of our assisted living programs. We aren’t here just to provide a living space for seniors, but rather to enhance quality of life and happiness in whatever ways possible.

Researchers say there are both short-term and long-term benefits of laughing more in daily life, especially for those who are reaching a more advanced age. Here are some of these benefits, plus some ways to infuse more laughter into the day for you or a loved one.

Short-Term Benefits

Did you realize that research has proven that a hearty few minutes of laughing with friends provides similar benefits to a mild workout? Your heart rate rises, your stress lowers, and blood circulation improves. You might even burn a few calories while you’re at it – up to 50 calories for 10 or 15 minutes of laughter.

Laughing also lowers stress hormones in the body, which can reduce anxiety in turn. This can also boost the immune system in seniors dealing with a chronic illness, which can go a long way.

Long-Term Benefits

There are a few major long-term health benefits of regular laughter:

  • Mood: Laughter lifts the spirits, and can make days happier. It’s linked to lower rates of depression across all ages.
  • Pain: For seniors with chronic pain conditions, laughing can be great pain management. Laughing causes endorphins to be released within the body – these natural pain relievers can help break a pain-spasm cycle or other forms of pain.
  • Diabetes: Laughter can help reduce blood glucose levels, which helps glucose tolerance and can be beneficial for seniors with diabetes.

How to Laugh More

Here are a few basic suggestions for getting more laughter in your day or that of a loved one:

  • Spend time with people you enjoy, or who you know have good senses of humor
  • Play with young children, who laugh a ton and can be contagious with this practice
  • Watch funny videos online
  • Adopt a cute pet
  • Host game nights or other events with friends
  • Stock up on a few DVDs with your favorite movies

For more on laughter as a therapeutic tool, or to learn about any of our senior living programs, speak to the caregivers at Legacy Village Provo today.