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Research shows that laughter can benefit your mental and physical health in some surprising ways. Here are six reasons laughter is no joke. This April Fool's Day, remember that you are never too old to enjoy some good laughter!

Humor may make it easier to get through the day and help you enjoy your life, but... laughter is no joke. A series of studies shows that the old saying may be true, and laughter is really a great medicine! What other medicine can possibly serve as a workout, save you from a heart attack, help you connect to your loved-ones and boost your immune system?

That's right — laughing is more than something your body automatically does when something is funny. People who laugh regularly and heartily will experience many benefits, to both their mental and physical health.


Laughter Brings People Together

Of all the benefits of laughter, perhaps the most important thing laughing has going for it is that it brings people together. After all, humans are social animals and feeling isolated is one of the most important causes of depression. It isn't just actual solitude that can lead a person to feel isolated and alone — the worst type of isolation comes in the form of feeling disconnected within a relationship, from your children, at work, or from friends.

In some cases, it will take a whole lot more than a great joke to reconnect. Yet, we all recognize the power of bonding over laughter. Humor connects people. It can break the ice when you meet someone new, can kill arguments or fights, and can help you remember how much you have in common with a loved one. Sometimes, just seeing that smile on the other person's face makes things better.

Laughter As Exercise

What happens when you laugh? A real, body-consuming laughing session uses lots of muscles, and not just in your face. Have you ever paid attention to the workout your abs get when you're “killing yourself laughing”? Laughter increases your heart rate, makes you breathe faster, and increases your oxygen intake. In other words, laughing is just like a good workout!

It is well established that exercising makes people feel better, but most folks probably workout to get fit or stay fit.

The good news is that the parallel between laughter and exercising doesn't end with an increased heart rate — research shows that laughing actually burns calories, too.

Ten to 15 minutes of laughing will get rid of about 50 calories. OK, so laughter will not replace your current workout regime. But, perhaps the knowledge that laughing gives you mini-workout at the very least will provide you with a good excuse when you sit down in front of the TV to watch a comedy, or a show like Candid Camera.

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