Want to lose those unwanted love handles? Start laughing at them. Laughter is the best medicine. And it is true; even in the case of weight loss.
Continuous laughter –laughing yoga is actually an aerobic type of exercise. It causes the heart to beat faster, pumping larger amounts of blood throughout the body. Thus laughing provides you with an excellent cardiovascular workout and heart massage.
Laughing helps you keep your heart healthy, fighting high blood pressure, cholesterol etc. But a surprising benefit of laughter has been found in a study.
Laughing can help you burn calories thus boosting up your weight loss process. Let us see how laughter can help you burn calories.
Laughing whole-heartedly can be considered as a “mini aerobic workout”. Laughing out loud makes the chest rise and fall, which in turn means that stomach muscles have to work harder, which can help to tighten them.
A big belly laugh uses about the same energy as walking more than half a mile, the US study in the International Journal of Obesity suggests.
This 2007 study has found that genuine voiced laughter causes a 10 to 20 percent increase in energy expenditure and heart rate above resting values. In other words, 10 to 15 minutes of laughter could lead to a fast fat-burning metabolism.
The lead researcher of this study, Dr. Maciej Buchowski, said -“Giggling for just 15 minutes a day burns enough calories to shed up to 5lbs of fat over a year.”
When we are stressed, our brain releases a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol elevates a person’s appetite, ultimately driving the individual to eat more. Cortisol does not only trigger your brain to eat more, it signals the body to store glucose as fat, more often around the midsection.
While anti-depressants are known to make you gain weight, laughter is the natural antidote to counter stress. Laughter helps in diminishing the secretion of cortisol.
Laughter also triggers the release of endorphins in the brain. Endorphins are the hormones that assuage the sympathetic nervous system. Endorphins boost optimism and self-confidence. Thus laughter creates a state of peace in your body and relaxes the mind.
A facial workout
Movement in muscles during any exercise helps you burn calories. The act of laughing involves up to 53 facial muscles plus nearby muscles around the face.
Laughter involves diverse facial, jaw, and throat muscles along with the levator labii superioris, risorius, mentalis, depressor anguli oris (the “frown” muscle), orbicularis oris, buccinator, and depressor labii inferioris, zygomatic, mandibular muscles of the face.
All these muscles are used when we laugh, giving your face a much-needed workout.
Lower down the blood glucose levels
Diabetes is no funny business. A high glucose level in your blood can be the reason behind your consistent increase in appetite. Hyperglycemia is a type of condition in which the blood sugar or glucose levels go abnormally high and is a side effect of diabetes.
The scientists at the International Journal of Obesity observed that laughter is good for people suffering from hyperglycemia. The scientists suggested that the chemicals released during laughing may help the body compensate for this condition.
The scientists also explain the inhibitory effect of laughter on the increase in postprandial [after meal] blood glucose and prescribe laughter exercise for patients with diabetes.