Laughter, Brain Fitness and Older Adults
By: Val Kirk, Personal Trainer and Fitness Instructor
Laughter is the best medicine, as it may improve memory. According to a study done at the University in Loma Linda, California they found a relationship between cortisol and memory, and investigated whether humor and laughter could reduce the damage that cortisol can cause on the brain. Cortisol is a stress hormone known to affect memory and learning ability in older adults.
It was proven that the less stress you have the better your memory. Humor reduces detrimental stress hormones like cortisol that decreases memory hippocampal neurons, lowers blood pressure and increases blood flow and your mood. The act of laughing increases endorphins and dopamine in the brain, which provides a sense of pleasure and reward. This in turn has positive beneficial neurochemical changes which increases the immune system. Even the brain wave activity (gamma wave band frequency) increases the memory and recall – So laugh as much as you can!!