I love to laugh and it is definitely more fun if you laugh with me!
Research has also shown that laughter may improve immune function and reduce pain as well as symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Laughter can serve as a cardiovascular exercise, if it sustained for at least 15 minutes.
Some people say that laughter is like internal jogging!
Laughter exercises can be done seated, standing or lying down.
I have my patients laugh with me while standing up if I want to challenge their automatic balance reactions.
If your balance is off, you can laugh sitting down or lying down. For people who use wheelchairs to get around, sustained laughter is one of the few exercises they can fully participate in for cardiovascular fitness.
I love to laugh with my patients!
It important to always check with your doctor before starting any new exercise program, even if it’s laughter exercises.
I have seen some major breakthroughs in recovering from illness and restoring the patient – caregiver relationship harmony once laughter was introduced into a stressful situation.
Often, patients and caregivers feel relieved when I suggest laughing together for the health benefits because they had gotten so far away from laughter due to stress.
In fact, even patients with dementia who can imitate me while I am laughing can experience the benefits of laughter. I’ve had many caregivers tell me that patients with dementia laughed spontaneously more often throughout the day and were generally more pleasant to work with after performing regular laughter exercises with me.
Laughter is the outward expression of joy, and the act of laughing has produced feelings of joy and relief for some of my most grumpy and miserable patients. Some of my patients have not laughed for years before we start laughing together for the health benefits.
The most important aspect of laughing as an exercise is to be safe and take a rest break if you feel light-headed or out of breath. Everyone has different levels of physical fitness, so you must monitor yourself if you choose to laugh for exercise.
To learn more about the researched health benefits of laughter and how I discovered this strategy for well-being, check out this blog.
This blog is provided for informational purposes only. The content and any comments by Dr. Kim Bell, DPT are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. The details of any case mentioned in this post represent a typical patient that Dr. Bell might see and do not describe the circumstances of a specific individual.