You might have already rushed out and bought Michael McIntyre tickets, or tickets for one of the dozens of other comedians currently on tour, just for the pure enjoyment of watching a live comedy show, but you might not have realised that you could be doing more than just giving yourself a good night out.
Research shows that laughter is actually good for your health in a number of unseen ways, so by yucking it up to your favourite comedian you could save yourself a trip to the doctor later. Here are three reasons that regular comedy shows could be just what the doctor ordered:
1. Laughter is a natural painkiller. Pack in the aspirin and the paracetamol; a good chuckle could be all you need to forget about aches and pains. Firstly, laughter will distract you from it and therefore dull the pain, but it also causes the brain to release a rush of endorphins and for a really good laugh this might actually be more effective than a shot of morphine.
2. Laughter is an all-over body workout. The term ‘paroxysms of laughter’ didn’t come from nowhere and if you’ve ever had such a raucous laugh that you literally ached afterwards then you’ll know how true this is phrase is. When you laugh your abdominal muscles contract, your shoulders shake and you pull in your diaphragm – it’s not likely to give you a six pack, but if the laugh goes on for minutes it’s as good as the same effort in the gym.
3. Laughter is good for the heart. It causes blood to flow faster around the body, unclogging arteries as it goes and reducing your likelihood of heart disease. Recent studies even showed that 15 minutes of laughter a day can do the same amount of good for your heart as 90 minutes of exercise. It also lowers blood pressure, as it causes you to breathe more deeply and move oxygen-rich blood through the body.
So the next time you’re thinking about taking the latest fad medication, loading up on painkillers or hitting the gym, head to a comedy festival or pick up a DVD and you could improve your health while having a giggle.