Dr. Behnam Rostami loves to watch movies, and if they can make him laugh, all the better. As it turns out, watching movies – or really, doing anything – that make us laugh is extremely beneficial for our health. Recent studies have found a clear connection between certain movies and the health of the heart.
Laughing Makes Your Blood Vessels Expand
Researchers examined the effects of different movie genders on viewers and, as it turns out, thrillers and action movies make the blood vessels contract, which in turn restricts blood flow. On the other hand, test subjects who watched really funny movies saw an improvement in their blood flow and a decrease in their blood pressure. In other words, their blood vessels expanded instead of contracting.
Laughing Does More Than That
If you think that’s all that laughing does to your body, think again. Many scientists agree that laughing – similarly to sexual arousal – can be considered to be positive stress. This means that the heart does a good amount of work, like it does when you are frightened or very nervous, but with one big exception – the hormones associated with those negative feelings are not involved.
During continuous, genuine laughter, the body goes through an experience similar to the one induced by exercising. Other studies go so far as to suggest that laughter can help you lose weight, but that has yet to be definitively proved.
In any case, Dr. Behnam Rostami remains a big fan of comedies, and hopes that more people would watch them.