| Walk With the Doc
Saturday, February 10th, 7:00 am
Want a Healthy Heart?
Laughter and Love Can Help
Feelings of depression, anxiety, social isolation,
hostility, and anger put us at a higher risk for heart
disease. Fortunately, research shows that how we
view the world makes a difference and in particular
laughter is very good for us. In a wide range of
studies, laughter has been found to increases the
blood flow by causing the inner lining of blood
vessels (endothelium) to dilate. Interestingly, this
dilatation of the endothelium by laughter is similar to
the benefits gained from aerobic exercise and
cholesterol-lowering drugs. The difference is that
laughter has an immediate effect and very pleasant
Of course, you know laughter is good medicine,
but did you know that laughter can boost the
immune system by increasing the number of
antibody-producing cells? A hearty laugh can relax
muscles for up to 45 minutes by decreasing stress
In celebration of Heart Month and Valentine’s
Day, add some humor to your life. Practice looking
on the lighter side of life, spend more quality time
with friends and family or perhaps watch an extra
comedy on TV, YouTube or the movies. If all else
fails, find a local Laughing Yoga Meetup group to
enjoy the contagion of group laughter. Making
humor a routine part of life is a lifestyle change that
can add quality to your life.
If you are over 50, you probably remember a
time when you laughed more. An average baby
laughs around 300 times a day compared with an
average of 20 laughs a day for adults. As a
warning, if you are average, you are not only losing
muscle tone, you are also losing your sense of
humor. Of course, babies have a laughter
advantage. They learn to laugh before they learn to
speak. With all that free time it’s really an unfair
In fairness to the demands of adult life, there are
many things to be serious about and fewer
opportunities to belt out a laugh. Then again, the
same excuse could be used for exercise or any
number of needs that we never grow out of.
Still questioning the health benefits of laughter?
Then I suggest taking up your concerns with the
experts from the Cleveland Clinic.
According to one study, laughter is, in essence,
a contagious form of happiness The brain responds
to the sound of laughter and tells the muscles in the
face to join in the fun. It seems that when we laugh
the world laughs with us and everyone around is
better for it.
For your health, find an opportunity for
laughter. Then, share your lighter side of life with a
friend. Better yet, share a little laughter with us
Saturday morning. Hope to see you with a coat, hat,
mittens, and, perhaps an umbrella.
Nancy Neighbors, MD
This is Not a Laughing Matter
Knowing your heart disease risk is an important
part of planning lifestyle changes that can make a
difference in your quality of life. Calculating your
risk of a heart attack is as simple as typing in a few
details about your medical history. For the most
accurate estimate, you will need your cholesterol
and blood pressure numbers. If you don't know
them, just give the office a call. To begin the
calculator, click here. The estimate provided is
called The Reynolds Risk Score. If you are under
the age of 80, healthy and without diabetes, then
the calculator predicts your risk of having a future
heart attack, stroke, or other major heart disease in
the next 10 years.
For suggestions about measures you should
take to reduce your risk, just answer a few questions
about your lifestyle with a questionnaire that asks
the most important questions.
Especially For Women
Historically, cardiovascular research was
focused on men. Today, far more women die of
heart disease than men. Pioneering doctor, C. Noel
Bairey Merz, shares what we know and don’t know
about women’s heart health - including the
remarkably different symptoms women present with
during a heart attack and why they’re often missed.
Be sure to learn more from Dr. Merz’s video “The
Single Biggest Health Threat Women Face.”
Let’s take a walk
Date: Saturday, February 10th
Location: Jones Family Park (see map)
Time: 7:00 am (Meet in front of Yogurt Mt.)
Yogurt Mountain is the last store at the end of Valley
Bend Shopping Center. If cloudy, bring an umbrella,
we walk come rain or shine.
Click here for Dr. Neighbors’ 2018 news page
If you would prefer to discontinue receiving ideas
about healthy living from Dr. Neighbors please
phone (256) 882-6085.