Fight Covid-19 with 30 minutes of laughter every day
With the lockdown extending for two more weeks starting from May 4, mental health issues related to anxiety and uneasiness are further going to engulf people. In the current scenario, where the world is yet to find a permanent solution to the Covid-19, boosting immune system remains the tried-and-tested method to fight the pandemic. With the world celebrating ‘Laughter day’ on May 3, it is going to be a perfect Sunday to start with the laughter exercises. Even without stepping out of house and while staying within the confines of the homes, people can boost their immunity by doing laughter yoga for 15 to 30 minutes.
The laughter exercise or laughter yoga is not very technical, but easy to perform. One has to simply laugh and continue doing it. Clapping and some body movements can be included in the daily dose of laughter exercise routine.
“In the current scenario everyone should work on boosting the immune system and laughter is a great therapy. It can do wonders in strengthening the immune system. Laughter yoga boosts our immune cells and infection fighting antibodies. 15 minutes of laughing exercises in a day is equivalent to 30 minutes of cardio exercises done thrice in a week. Besides, 10 minutes of belly laughter (loud unrestrained laugh) is equivalent to half-an-hour of cardio exercises. 10 minutes of hearty laughter is equal to 30 minutes on the rowing machine,” says laughter yoga expert Nidhi Jaswal, who is a technical coordinator at the department of community medicine and school of public health at the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh.
Initially, if one is a little hesitant about laughing because of the loud sound, the person can go for silent laughter as an alternative. “Have you ever laughed so hard that no sound actually came out? Practice laughing without any sound and gradually pick up the loud laughter,” says Jaswal.
INCREASES LUNGS CAPACITY
Laughter is a good for the respiratory system as it open lungs. “Laughter yoga increases the lung capacity by ensuring controlled and forced breathing. It further increases the ventilation of 30% of alveolus (air sacs in lungs), which are usually not functioning in normal breathing,” says Dr Sonu Goel, a professor at the department of community medicine and school of public health, PGIMER.
“Health experts are trying to explore natural and effective ways to improve the ability to fight the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV2. India has been a proponent of yoga and ayurveda since ages to boost immunity and increase power to fight diseases. The ancient Indian practices have a lot to offer to persons who are struggling with co-morbid conditions and are desperately seeking ways to improve their immunity. Laughter exercises can be an alternative to yoga to boost immunity,” adds Dr Sonu Goel.
LAUGHTER REDUCES STRESS
As deduced various medical researchers, stress is the number one killer and more than 70-80% of illnesses are due to stress. Laughter yoga is a single exercise routine that reduces physical, mental and emotional stress simultaneously and brings an emotional balance.
“Laughter yoga has the power to change your mood within minutes by releasing certain chemicals from your brain called endorphins. If your mood is good, you feel good within and will remain cheerful throughout the day. The health benefits of laughter come in two categories: For people who are not sick and want to stay healthy and secondly, for those who have some illness, laughter yoga helps to heal faster,” says Dr Rakesh Gupta, president and director public health, Strategic Institute of Public Health and Research, Chandigarh.
“Laughter is also a powerful antidote for depression, reduces blood pressure, reduces symptoms of allergies, asthma, arthritis and helps in chronic illnesses like cancer,” he says.