Laughter Improves Seniors' Health and Fitness
Laughter is the best medicine. No, really: In a study, older adults in assisted-living centers participated in a program called LaughActive, which included two 45-minute physical activity sessions per week. In between strength, balance, and flexibility exercises, the seniors were instructed to laugh for 30 to 60 seconds, no jokes necessary—the body can’t tell the difference between real and forced laughter. Either way, it relaxes and strengthens muscles. After six weeks, participants showed major improvements in mental health and endurance. The laughter also prompted the seniors to exercise more, which means they may be more likely to stick with it, giggles and all.
Source: The Gerontologist, published online Sept. 15, 2016