Laughter therapy is an appealing method for people who want to keep their weight at a healthy level. Just by laughing, and making a point to laugh as much as possible, you can elevate your mood, improve your skin’s appearance and burn calories. However, understanding how this therapy burns calories and how much it burns is important before you count on it as your diet solution.
How Laughter Burns Calories
The mood-boosting benefits of laughter have long been purported, but the calorie-burning benefits of laughter therapy are fairly new. When you laugh, your body goes into a similar mode to that during a small workout. Your heart rate begins to rise when you laugh; some researchers say that a minute of rigorous laughter is equal to ten minutes of brisk walking, as far as getting your heart rate to the same level. Your blood flow improves and your immune system strengthens. Some researchers purport that the therapy can help lower blood sugar levels in diabetics slightly.
How to Make Yourself Laugh
Just going through the motions of laughter can actually get you rolling into real laughter, so if you can’t think of anything funny, just start forcing yourself to laugh. Still, to make your job easier, you may want to picture a moment you found really funny or, if you’re on the move, listen to a comedy performance on your MP3 player. If you’re at home, you can easily get in a session of laughter by watching a favorite comedic movie or video.
Getting the Most Effective Laughter ‘Workout’
For laughter therapy to burn the most calories, you should combine it with some movement when possible, so your body gets more exercise at the same time. This could include walking around the room or jogging outdoors as you laugh, or it could even be as simple as stretching out your arms. Since exercise makes you feel better, this added movement can give you more momentum to continue laughing.
How Much Laughter Burns
“Dieting” with laughter is appealing, but it also sounds too good to be true. In some ways, it is. While making a point to laugh has many definite benefits, on average, it burns only about 50 calories per 10 to 15 minutes of laughter. (You can, of course, take breaks to catch your breath.) 50 calories is only about 1/40th of the average adult’s daily caloric intake. Still, because of the therapy’s other benefits, losing even just 50 calories with the therapy certainly makes it worthwhile.
How Else Laughter Can Help Burn Calories
Besides the direct burning of around 50 calories per laughing session, laughter elevates your mood and can give you the motivation to exercise and think positively. This can make a great difference in the mindsets of those who are struggling with weight or self-esteem issues.
Laughter therapy makes an excellent addition to any person’s diet, no matter how much weight she feels she needs to lose or how much she exercises. However, it should never be counted on as a miracle cure on its own. The key to health and happiness is to eat a balanced diet, exercise regularly and laugh as much as possible.