What’s So Funny? Laughter Really Is Good for You, Even If You’re Faking It
We could all use something to laugh about these days, right?
Well, we don’t need anything funny to get the health benefits of laughing.
Like everything else in health and fitness, we just need to do it.
Laughter brings physical health benefits to active adults. Laughing is great for the cardiovascular system, muscular development – and it even releases endorphins often described as a “runner’s high.”
Research also shows that simulated laughter is just as good as laughing at a good joke or comedy show. You can fake it and still take all the same benefits.
Master trainer Celeste Green started LaughActive to teach exercise coaches in assisted living facilities on how to bring these benefits to their residents.
“Simulated laughter may be ideal for older adults with functional or cognitive impairments,” she says. “The mental stimulus required for humor takes a high mental function, like paying attention and having a quick memory. But with self-initiated laughter, people don’t have to ‘get the joke’ to reap the benefits of laughter.”
How do you fake it till you make it? Just mimic the physical motions of laughing – a good, hardy belly laugh. You might feel a little silly at first but go with it.
And if you need some classic comedy stimulation, here’s the American Film Institute’s Top 10 comedies of all time, easily found on cable or streaming services.
- Some Like It Hot
- Annie Hall
- Duck Soup
- Blazing Saddles
- It Happened One Night
- The Graduate