Laugh Your Way to Weight Loss

| Weight Loss

laughter yoga

You're not laughing enough. When you were little, you could be heard giggling up to 300 times a day! Now, you might crack a smile or let out a breathy "ha" fewer times than you can count on one hand. Laughter has so many benefits, so why aren't people seeking it a way to improved health? Aside from the positive mental affects, like the release of happy hormones, you also tighten the belly when you laugh. Core workout, anyone?

Now, there's a yoga-based practiced that uses laughter as the main ingredient (you could also try it naked). That doesn't mean your instructor has been replaced with a jester, doling out jokes for 60 minutes. Instead, you learn how to laugh without requiring humor or comedy or some stranger tickling you. Laughter is contagious – a study in London showed that when people hear laughter, a response is triggered inside the listener's brain, resulting in a smile or matched laughter. It could a basic social side effect, trying to synchronize emotions and states of mind.

Once you learn how to laugh without cause, it's time to get the rest of the body moving to share the blood flow. It's very similar to an aerobic workout. You'll move around, walk around and work on breathing techniques while you laugh. Since yoga is already a mind-body type of exercise, incorporating laughter seems natural.

>> Read more:8 Health Benefits of Singing

laughing woman yoga meditation

Stress less, laugh more. Science shows you'll reduce stress, lower your blood pressure, decrease the amounts of "bad" hormones in the blood stream, like cortisol, and you'll be better to emotionally and mentally handle negative situations.

Burn, baby, burn. If you're on a 10 to 15-minute laughing streak, you can burn a solid 50 calories!

Fend against poor health. Your immune system reaps benefits from the laughter you create. Laughing has been shown to increase the amount of antibodies, the kind that fight infection. That's no joke!

Drop blood sugar levels. WebMD posted about a study conducted with 19 diabetics who ate a meal, then had their blood sugar levels measured. The same meal was repeated the next day while watching a funny TV show, then the blood sugar levels were measured. You can bet they were lower on day two.

>> Dive deeper: Workouts Across the World: Laughter Yoga