In the movie "Mary Poppins," when Mary (Julie Andrews) and Bert (Dick Van Dyke) take the Banks children (Matthew Garber and Karen Dotrice) to visit Uncle Albert (Ed Wynn), Albert starts to laugh.
With every chortle, he floats higher and higher off the ground.
Soon the visitors start laughing, and they levitate, too. Only sad thoughts bring them back to Earth.
Sometimes, the thought of exercising can make you feel rooted to the ground. But a new study shows that laughter just might give you the motivational lift you need.
Researchers found that older adults who were led through an exercise program that incorporated simulated laughter (they went through the motions of laughter), which often triggered a genuine belly laugh, saw significant improvement in mental health, aerobic endurance, and more interest in exercising.
Study participants did a 45-minute course of moderate activity peppered with bouts of simulated laughter for six weeks.
Almost 89 percent said laughter made exercise more accessible, and about 88 percent said they were motivated to participate in other exercise classes.
So the next time you exercise, sprinkle some humor into your workout. Try watching last night's episodes of "The Late Show" (Stephen Colbert) and "Conan" while you exercise.
You'll discover that your workouts are more fun, and you'll get other health benefits, too.
A good laugh releases mood-boosting endorphins, lowers stress, improves your immune responses, reduces pain, and improves heart health.
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