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General Health, Wellness, & Spirituality Questions Hey.. are you new to the health & fitness lifestyle? Then this sub-forum is for you. Inside is a slew of pertinent tips and explanations to speed you on your way. Enjoy! The forum has been dedicated to the memory of a now deceased friend of the NarkSide: David "Mavsluva" Lowe. He was an inspiration for many of us here in the community. This forum serves to continue the work which David started: To unite the Spirit, Mind, and Body... in the pursuit of the improvement of self. R.I.P. David. We love you man. You'll always be with us.

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Old 04-29-2010
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Default Laughter and Exercise Have Same Effect on the Body

Laughter really may be the best medicine. A new study presented this week at the Experimental Biology conference in Anaheim, California finds that laughter has the same effects on the body as exercise, such as controlling blood pressure and hormonal changes responsible for appetite.
"We use exercise for rehab, but we also use exercise as a way to stay healthy and keep cholesterol and blood pressure down," Lee S. Berk, a preventive care specialist and psychoneuroimmunology researcher at Loma Linda University's Schools of Allied Health (SAHP) and Medicine and the study's lead researcher, told AOL Health. "It appears that repetitive use of mirthful laughter, or joyful laughter, has similar effects."
Berk and his colleagues have been studying the health benefits of laughter since the 1980s. In their most recent study, they followed 14 healthy volunteers over a three-week period to find how distress and "eustress," or positive stress from mirthful laughter, affect the hormones that control appetite.
During the study, the volunteers randomly watched one 20-minute video of a distressful scenario and one 20-minute video of a humorous scenario. In the study's cross-over design, the participants waited one week after watching the first video to watch the second in order to eliminate the first's effects.
The distressful video included the first 20 minutes of the film "Saving Private Ryan," which is known to upset viewers. For the eustress video, participants chose a 20-minute clip from various options including stand-up comedy shows and comedy movies -- allowing them to choose the most appealing video ensured their maximum humor response.
To test the subjects' bodily reactions, researchers measured their blood pressure and took blood samples immediately before and after watching each video. Researchers examined the blood sample for two hormone levels involved in appetite, called leptin and ghrelin.
The volunteers who watched the distressful video illustrated no statistically significant change in their appetite hormone levels.
Those that watched the humorous video clips demonstrated changes in both blood pressure and the hormone levels responsible for appetite control. While their levels of leptin decreased, their levels of ghrelin increased. This change is similar to that of moderate physical exercise.
"[Laughter] increases hormones responsible for increasing appetite." Berk explained. "It's not necessarily going to make someone hungry all the time. If they are eating too much it may optimize so that people realize they don't need to eat."
These findings suggest that patients who cannot exercise, particularly the elderly or physically handicapped individuals, can try laughter as a treatment for their lack of appetite.
"Not only do we increase our appetite after we exercise because we burn calories, we also tune up the key appetite hormones," Berk said. "Having said that, the implications for everyday laughter is that this is another modality that we can use to be beneficial." Berk and his colleagues have also found that laughter can help to decrease levels of cortisol and epinephrine, which can lead to stress reduction. The stress hormone cortisol has been shown to slow the body's ability to burn calories, resulting in weight gain. They have also illustrated that laughter can improve the immune system, boost mood, lower bad cholesterol and systolic blood pressure, raise good cholesterol and it can activate the body's protective cells, like those responsible for killing tumors.
"Laughter indeed does increase dopamine and does indeed increase endorphins. It's good for the body, so that's why the similarity to physical exercise," Berk said. "It's more than just the pleasantry."


http://www.aolhealth.com/2010/04/26/...ffect-on-body/
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Old 04-30-2010
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brb... gonna laugh for an hour instead of doing cardio
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Old 04-30-2010
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Lies!!!

I laugh all day long and am still fat.
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^^LMAO!
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