Laughter Makes Working Out Easier

Peathegee Inc./Getty Images

You might remember Reader's Digest's joke section, "Laughter Is The Best Medicine".  It turns out the old adage is true. Laughter actually helps our bodies relieve pain, according to a study conducted by Oxford University. By raising your endorphin levels (your body's natural opiates), laughter significantly raises our thresholds for pain.

It looks like laughter itself might even be a form of exercise. “Laughter involves the repeated, forceful exhalation of breath from the lungs,” says Robin Dunbar, a professor of evolutionary psychology at Oxford, who led the study. The next time you work out, instead of chugging three energy drinks and pumping yourself up with death metal, you might want to watch a Family Guy re-run before hand, or listen to anything by George Carlin. For the coming holidays, just work off those big dinners by sharing some belly laughs with loved ones .

Here's a lovely info-graphic to show how laughter affects us in good ways (graphic via Greatist):

Photo via Greatist.com

Learn more from the original NYTime's article, Laughter As A Form Of Exercise.

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