Laughter-based exercise program has health benefits, study finds.
And as a writer, I can’t think of a better way to start the day.
Research at Georgia State University has found that older people placed on an exercise program that incorporated playful simulated laughter into its routine, felt healthier.
This simulated laughter first allows you to go through the motions until the laughter becomes real, then that genuine laughter is fed and kept alive by eye contact and general behaviour that turns simulated into real laughter. Now add to this, some strength, balance and flexibility exercises and the results showed significant improvements in mind, body and spirit.
The research found that those that took part found it enjoyable, found it made exercise more accessible and that it enhanced a desire to do other classes or activities.
It also highlighted that we don’t engage in enough physical activity and become less engaged as we get older, consequently, we are setting ourselves up for chronic health problems from heart disease cancer, anxiety to diabetes.
“The combination of laughter and exercise may influence older adults to begin exercising and to stick with the program.”
Well, I say how about changing ‘older adults’ to ‘everyone’? How about we:
a) Bring this mindset in early, get our kids in school to punctuate one day each week with this simple exercise: laughter+ challenge + fitness + good feeling = better health.
b) Continue this good work beyond the schools, in gyms and leisure centres for adults?
And how would we create this laughter? Simple. Bring in a professional comedian and have him or her, do age appropriate sets in the schools while kids are doing Pilates or Yoga or circuit training or some kind of body conditioning.
But, who would be brave enough to implement this as part of the school curriculum? The Sports Minister would probably be advised that to do this would be an act of political suicide. Yet The Dalai Lama swears by laughter and research shows it has positive benefits.
And watch it stem the NHS haemorrhage and make a rare positive impact.
If only someone were brave enough to kick start it.
We’d all be inspired, uplifted and motivated and probably armed with some spin-off ideas from the comedian.
What a way to start your writing day!