02 May Why happiness and laughter are so good for you!
by Simon Webster
Laughter is as good for the body as exercise, scientists say, and “laughercise” could be the way to fight heart disease and diabetes.
Health retreats are understood to be modifying their programs so that clients can spend several hours a day lying on a couch, stuffing themselves with chips and watching American sitcoms. Of course, similar routines could be followed at home but who’s got the discipline?
Besides, in health retreats, trained instructors would be on hand to tickle guests should the television not provide the recommended daily levels of mirth.
These exciting plans for the wellness industry come in the aftermath of a study _ã_ led by Dr Lee Berk, from Loma Linda University, California _ã_ which found that volunteers who watched just 20 minutes of comedies and stand-up routines experienced a substantial drop in stress hormones, blood pressure and cholesterol.
“The body’s response to repetitive laughter is similar to the effect of repetitive exercise,” Dr Berk said, quoted in Britain’s Daily Telegraph. “As the old biblical wisdom states, it may indeed be true that laughter is a good medicine.”
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