“When I was a boy the Dead Sea was only sick,” George Burns, 100
“I’m at an age when my back goes out more than I do,” Phyllis Diller, 95
“I’m so old they’ve canceled my blood type,” Bob Hope, 100
Growing old is no joke but that doesn’t mean you can’t laugh while you’re doing it. And if the comedians above are any indication, it just might help you live longer.
We recently shared details of a study that linked optimism to longevity and the results were something to smile about. And while keeping a positive outlook may seem like a stretch some days, a good hearty belly laugh could give you some of the same benefits and even increase how much you enjoy that extra time.
Here’s a closer look at how laughter improves your health and longevity.
Numerous studies have proven laughter deserves a prominent spot on your priority list. It decreases stress hormones, improves blood flow and strengthens your immune system. And that’s just for starters.
- 10 – 15 minutes of laughter burns about 40 calories.
- Your muscles stay relaxed for up to 45 minutes after a good laugh.
- Your blood pressure can drop as much as 5 – 7 points following extended laughter.
- Agitation levels can drop as much as 20 percent with regular humor therapy
Find a doctor
The specialists at Providence can help keep health issues from disrupting your life’s laugh track. You can find a Providence geriatric specialist using our provider directory. Or you can search for a primary care doctor in your area.
California: Senior Care
Oregon: Optimal Aging
Texas: Senior Care
Washington: Senior Care
Four life hacks for improved heart health
Five reasons you should laugh more
Amazing ways laughter improves your heart health
Vanderbilt Study—No joke: Study finds laughing can burn calories
Humor and Laughter May Influence Health: III. Laughter and Health Outcomes
The Laughter Prescription—A Tool for Lifestyle Medicine
American Heart Association Scientific Sessions 2011
This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.
About the AuthorMore Content by Providence Seniors Health Team