If you’re concerned about your heart health, you might expect a cardiologist to tell you to eat better and exercise more. Did you know laughing can have a significant impact on cardiovascular health as well? Here are just a few ways that having fun with loved ones can strengthen your heart.
Why You Should Laugh More & Worry Less
1. Lower Cortisol Levels
Researchers have found that laughter can reduce cortisol levels. A stress hormone, cortisol affects heart health in a negative way when produced in excess. For example, too much cortisol constricts blood vessels. It can also contribute to weight gain, which increases your risk for other kinds of diseases, including stroke and diabetes. Maintaining a healthy weight is often one of the first pieces of advice cardiologists give patients who are in less-than-perfect heath.
2. Lower Blood Pressure
When performed along with activities like stretching and gentle breathing, laughter can lower both diastolic and systolic blood pressure. Lower blood pressure, coupled with reduced cortisol levels, further reduces the risk of heart disease. Hypertension—abnormally high blood pressure—is a leading cause of heart disease.
3. Better Circulation
With the help of humorous movies, scientists have found that laughter causes the inner lining of blood vessels, or endothelium, to expand. Dilation leads to the release of beta-endorphins, which relieve pain, and nitric oxide, which reduces inflammation.
For more tips on improving your heart health, turn to the cardiologists at Premier Cardiology Consultants. Founded more than 25 years ago, they have delivered quality cardiac care to clients throughout Alabama, including Andalusia, Dothan, Enterprise, and Ozark. Their services include stress tests, echocardiograms, and ultrasounds as well as specialized services to diagnose and treat cardiomyopathy, hypertension, and congestive heart failure. To find out what they do, visit their website, or call (334) 699-6396 to talk with the staff.