Nearly every study on the connection between laughter and health has shown at least some positive results, according to an exhaustive study of the medical literature published in Canadian Family Physician. Laughter is a documented remedy for stress relief, but researchers are also exploring some other unexpected effects. For example, laughter may:
• Boost immunity. Some studies have shown that using humor may boost the body’s levels of infection-fighting antibodies and immune cells.
Protect yourself and your family from the flu.
Far from being just a cold on steroids, the flu is a virus that kills thousands of people a year in the United States. In fact, the greatest modern disease pandemic was caused by a flu that wiped out a third of the world’s population. While that event represents the worst-case scenario, it’s always smart to guard against catching this disease.
Legend has it that stress caused Marie Antoinette’s hair to turn white the night before she took that fateful march to the guillotine in Paris in 1793.
Knowledge, as they say, is power. This is certainly true when it comes to health. It’s not only healthcare professionals who need to stay in the know. Patients, too, can and should arm themselves with knowledge as a way of becoming more proactive about their own care. An increasing number of people are doing so.
Timely screenings, healthy habits, and awareness of risk factors are your best defense.
Owning a pet—especially a dog—may be associated with lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels and can have a positive effect on the body’s reactions to stress, according to a recent American Heart Association scientific statement, which reviewed previous studies on the influence of pets. In one study of 5,200 Japanese adults, for example, dog owners were 54 percent more likely to get the recommended amount of physical activity and engaged in significantly more walking and physical activity than those who didn’t own dogs.
Steps to take for your health — and your pleasure
There are hundreds of outdoor stairways in San Francisco and more just outside the city. Some take you through lush forests, others past historic architecture, and many to lovely views — all while giving you a pretty good cardio workout. Here are just a few worth scaling.
Comfort food goes healthy
Ginger makes this soup especially warming. Packed with the nutrition of fresh veggies, this easy dish is low in fat and a good source of fiber, with corn adding texture. If you can find fresh corn, simply saw it off the cob and throw it into the soup with the chopped chicken at the very end of your cooking time.
The annual opening of San Francisco’s Dungeness crab season, usually in the beginning of November, marks the arrival of the holidays and a treasured local tradition
Looking for new ways to savor the sweet meat of Dungeness crab? For inspiration, we turned to Allen Kuehn, founder of the San Francisco Fish Company at the Ferry Building Marketplace, where the crab breakfast burrito is a top seller. Read on for Kuehn’s tips for making the most of San Francisco’s crab season, which lasts through June.
Prevention and treatment strategies for arthritis
We tend to think of osteoarthritis—and the joint stiffness and pain it brings—as an inevitable part of aging. But you can reduce your risk of developing it, and researchers are making discoveries that could lead to better therapies.