Posted - May 25, 2012

Laugh More for Enhanced Health

After Lap Band, Laugh More

After Lap Band, Laugh More There is no reason that losing weight shouldn’t be fun. In addition to focusing on your weight loss goals with gastric bypass or Lap Band, Dallas residents should find ways to laugh more as they improve their health. As spring is setting in and summer is fast approaching, there is no better time to get outside, enjoy the sunshine and have a good laugh.

In fact, May is an especially great time to do just that. International Laughter Day is the first Sunday of May every year, and the entire month of May is dedicated as mental health month. In this spirit, take some time this month to focus on improving your happiness and mental well-being. Having a good, powerful laugh is a great place to start.

Have you laughed yet today?

If not, have at it right now. Take a deep breath and let out a roaring laugh. If sitting in a quiet room in front of the computer isn’t the right time, then try it when you are stuck in traffic later. You don’t need to be prompted by something funny to simulate laughter. Often, when you start out fake laughing it is not long before genuine laughs follow.

This is the premise of a rising new exercise trend called laughter yoga. Unlike regular yoga, which involves mats and poses that are often difficult to attempt let alone master, laughter yoga can be done in typical street wear and doesn’t involve any uncomfortable stretches. Instead, during laughter yoga class participants are encouraged to laugh out loud with one another. You may find yourself walking in circles and clapping while laughing out loud with other participants.

A laugher yoga instructor will guide you through poses as in a traditional yoga class, but here the poses are less technical. Instead of stretching yourself into a downward facing dog you will simulate the action of milking a cow, or blowing up a balloon that you then pop on the ground with a confident stomp. More often than not, laughter yoga participants are caught in bouts of genuine laughter during the class period, so faking it to start out is just fine.

A few potential health benefits of laughter include:

  • Decreased blood pressure
  • Improved blood flow
  • A workout for the body’s core, including the abdominal, leg, back and facial muscles.
  • Increased memory
  • Improved creativity and alertness

In addition, laughter can help you to relax, which is great for stress management. Laughter has also been said by some to help your physical health by boosting the immune system, releasing endorphins and even encouraging heart health.

The health benefits of laughter are unclear, but have a good laugh and tell us: do you feel any better? Most people say they do!