Laughter is the best medicine
We at The Core are proud to be acknowledged as experts in the field of health and fitness and I bet if we did a word association game with you right now it would go something like:
Fitness – Strength
Health – Wellbeing
Stress – Too much!
Those working within the health and fitness industry have been on their soapboxes for a very long time about how we should be encouraging physical activity and healthy eating in order to PREVENT illness, stress and poor health. You’ll have heard the statistics about what we should be doing often enough: 30 minutes physical activity every day and at least 7 fruit and vegetable portions to keep the doctor away.
Yet there is one absolutely critical activity that you will probably NEVER see prescribed on the NHS or scarcely referred to by Fitness Providers outside of The Core and that is LAUGHTER.
It’s the only “medicine” in this world that is truly safe to overdose on in any quantity – indeed, the more the merrier (see what I did there!)
Laughter actually provides a wide range of physical and mental health benefits. Have you ever laughed until your tummy hurts? Laughing is a great Abs workout, for the diaphragm and abdominal, respiratory, facial, leg, and back muscles. Here are some of the other health benefits:
· Laughter relaxes the whole body. A good, hearty laugh relieves physical tension and stress, leaving your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes after.
· Laughter boosts the immune system. Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease.
· Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain.
· Laughter protects the heart. Laughter improves the function of blood vessels and increases blood flow and lowers your blood pressure, which can help protect you against a heart attack and other cardiovascular problems.
· Laughter dissolves distressing emotions. You can’t feel anxious, angry, or sad when you’re laughing.
· Laughter helps you relax and recharge. It reduces stress by reducing the stress hormones Cortisol and Adrenaline and increases energy, enabling you to stay focused and accomplish more.
There are quite a few classes that run at The Core where you can hear Belly laughs over and above the sound of the music! They’re particularly raucous in the Rehab and over 50’s classes. We are a happy bunch here anyway but now you know there is a scientific reason we make you smile and laugh.
Here are 5 top tips to get you smiling again:
1. List what makes you happy. The simple act of thinking about the good things in your life will distance you from negative thoughts that are a barrier to fun and laughter.
2. Spend time with people who make you laugh. These are people who laugh easily–both at themselves and at life’s absurdities–and who routinely find the humour in everyday events. Their playful point of view and laughter are contagious.
3. Laugh at yourself. Share your embarrassing moments. The best way to take yourself less seriously is to talk about times when you took yourself too seriously. Look for the funny side in situations too!
4. Surround yourself with reminders to lighten up. Keep a toy on your desk or in your car. Put up a funny poster in your office. Choose a funny screensaver. Frame photos of you and your family or friends having fun. Spend time with kids. Watch a funny movie.
5. Keep things in perspective. Many things in life are beyond your control. Taking the weight of the world on your shoulders is unrealistic, unproductive and unhealthy. Deep breath and smile!
If you want to find your smile again and surround yourself with fun and laughter, pop into The Core and find out what we are about. Check out our new Repose programme – specifically created to help you relax, smile and focus on your whole wellbeing.
Call 01326 310760