Keep laughing, its doing you more good than you realise

Dr. Michael Miller of the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore showed two movies, one humorous, one stressful, to 20 healthy volunteers and tested the function of their blood vessels.The two recent studies, show how psychological factors can affect a person's health.

Dr. Michael Miller of the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore showed two movies, one humorous, one stressful, to 20 healthy volunteers and tested the function of their blood vessels.

The researchers looked at the endothelium, the lining of the vessels, and found that blood flow was reduced in 14 of the 20 volunteers after stressful movie clips. But blood flowed more freely in 19 of the 20 when they laughed at funny movie segments. Laughter alone won't keep you fit and they recommend that you try to laugh on a regular basis. Thirty minutes of exercise three times a week, and 15 minutes of laughter on a daily basis is good for the vascular system.

Each time we laugh we increase our flow of blood by 22% and lessen our stress levels by 35%. Laughing may be important to maintain a healthy endothelium, and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and it's great exercise.

Depression, on the other hand, can raise the risk of dying from heart failure. The level of change they saw in the endothelium when people were laughing was equivalent to the benefit we might see with aerobic activity, but without the pain.

Dr Wei Jiang and colleagues at Duke University in North Carolina in another study, followed 1,005 heart failure patients and also tested them for depression. They found event those with mild depression had a 44 percent greater risk of dying. Patients with depression tend not to exercise or take medications properly; it is unclear why. They also made more unhealthy lifestyle choices in regard to diet and smoking.

So keep laughing, its doing you more good than you realise, have you heard the one about........!

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