April is National Humor Month, which is a great time for residents at Collinwood assisted living community in Fort Collins, CO, to get together for fellowship and laughter. Social activity in general has many benefits for individuals of all ages, and for seniors, actively participating in community activities can help reduce risks of isolation and support cognitive functions.
But when the activities involve laughter, there are even more potential benefits. Check out these reasons to seek out laughter in your life.
You may have noticed that after some time laughing heartily with friends, you just feel better overall. Part of that may come from the fact that genuine, deep laughter activates a number of chemical and physical responses in your body. First, it relieves some of the physical tension that may be in muscles, and that relaxation can last for more than 30 minutes after deep laughter. Second, laughing releases endorphins, which help promote good feelings throughout your entire body and can even work to dampen feelings of pain.
Research indicates that laughter can increase cells and strengthen antibodies that fight infection. It's also shown that laughing can reduce hormones in your body that are related to stress, which can also make it more possible for your body to fight off infections. When your body and mind are dealing with stress or worry, you're not always as able to fight off even minor issues.
Laughter is also good for overall cardiovascular health. It increases blood flow and may help increase functions for blood vessels, making regular laughter good for your heart. While laughing every day doesn't replace your need for cardiovascular exercise, it does burn more calories than frowning. In fact, studies have shown that 10 to 15 minutes of laughter burns around 40 total calories.
Laughter may not be the magic pill to health, and seniors at Collinwood assisted living should work toward habits such as nutritious diets, regular exercise and keeping up with medicine and medical appointments. But adding laughter into that mix can be a good idea. Some ways to get your daily laughs in include meeting regularly with friends who make you laugh, telling and listening to each other's stories, reading funny books and watching comedic television shows and movies.
To discover opportunities for entertainment and laughter, ask the Collinwood staff about scheduled community activities today.