Saturday May 25, 2019

Doctor Says, Smiling Can Improve Heart Health and Well-Being

Exercise and diet are keys to a healthier life, as many studies show, but here's something that may surprise you: A heart specialist also recommends smiling to improve your health.

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Nurses practice smiling with chopsticks in their mouths at a hospital in Handan, Hebei province, China, May 8, 2017. VOA

Exercise and diet are keys to a healthier life, as many studies show, but a heart specialist also recommends something more.

“One, two, three — twirl.”

Kendra Martin is taking photographs of three little girls in chiffon dresses. As they twirl, Martin tells them to smile.

“All right, big smiles!”

“I tell people to fake laugh, and they feel stupid doing it, but the result is theyʼre laughing, and it turns into a genuine smile,” Martin said.

And, in this case a giggle.

Big grins and giggles pay off on camera. The girls may be too young to have heart problems, but the smiles can promote heart health.

Brain rewiring

Dr. Anand Chockalingam is a heart specialist at the University of Missouri Health Care who tells his patients to smile.

“When we smile, the brain wiring gets altered. The chemicals that are released are more positive,” he said.

Chockalingam’s advice is supported by a number of studies. He says smiling is a first step in fighting stress and its ill health effects.

When you feel stressed, your body releases a surge of hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol.

Adrenaline increases your heart rate and blood pressure. Cortisol, the primary stress hormone, increases sugars in the bloodstream. If you are truly in danger, these hormones can help, but too much of these stress hormones too frequently can lead to heart disease and stroke.

FILE - People gather at a smoking area in Tokyo, April 7, 2017.
People gather at a smoking area in Tokyo, April 7, 2017. VOA
 

Bad habits arise

People who are stressed look for ways to cope. The American Heart Association says smoking, overeating or drinking alcohol as a way to reduce the stress can harm your heart and other organs.

“Once people smile, they are relaxing,” Chockalingam said. “This relaxation directly lowers blood pressure, improves sugar levels in the blood.”

Chockalingam tells his patients to smile 20 times an hour. It might seem like a lot, but it doesn’t involve drugs or have any negative side effects.

“If we are smiling, we are breaking that link between stress and health,” he said.

Also Read:Attention! Signs You Should Not Ignore While Travelling Linked To CVD

Smiling is something Martin does to improve her photography.

“Waking up in the morning with a smile on my face, you know, itʼs gonna put everybody in a better mood,” she said.

And it provides a little boost to everyone’s heart health. (VOA)

Next Story

Bengaluru Doctor Hema Divakar gets Global Asian Award

Hema received the award at the Asian Business & Social Forum 2019 under the 'In Service of the Society and the Nation' category

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Doctor Hema Divakar was honoured for her yeomen services and contributions to the women's healthcare ecosystem, in India. Pixabay

Bengaluru-based medical doctor Hema Divakar was honoured with the ‘Global Asian of the Year 2018-19’ award in Dubai recently for her yeomen services and contributions to the

, in India, said its organiser ‘Asia One’ magazine’s publisher on Tuesday.

Hema received the award at the Asian Business & Social Forum 2019 under the ‘In Service of the Society and the Nation’ category from UAE’s Trade Promotion Director Mohammed Naser Hamdan Al Zaabi.

“The award is conferred on those who stand out for vision, action and ingenuity and represent contemporary ideas to make global impact,” said the pan-Asian business and news publication in a statement here.

Bengaluru, Doctor, Hema Divakar
Bengaluru-based medical doctor Hema Divakar was honoured with the ‘Global Asian of the Year 2018-19’ award. Pixabay

Hema is also spearheading a healthcare initiative for the overall well-being of women, with affordable and quality treatment.

Also Read- Polo-Playing Manipuri Women are Breaking Barriers

“To be recognised with other achievers of Asia thrusts on me a greater responsibility and ownership to reform the women’s healthcare ecosystem in an innovative and impactful manner,” said Hema on the occasion. (IANS)