Health Check Laughing therapy, vacation starved & summer bad habits

New research suggests that your smart phone could help you make healthier lifestyle decisions. The study reveals that at least one in five Americans use some type of technology to keep track of health data. The most common applications downloaded are related to counting steps, monitoring heart rate, or following exercise. Researchers found that people who combined mobile technology with a complete lifestyle program were more successful at weight-loss in the short term compared to those who tried to do it on their own.

Whoever said laughter is the best medicine was on to something. Researchers say the healing power of laughter is real. Scientists have found that laughter is great for your health. Researchers say that when you laugh, it opens up your blood vessels, causing stress on your heart. It can also de- stress the rest of the body by releasing endorphins from the brain.

Dr. Michael Miller, of the University of Maryland School of Medicine, "you can easily counteract a stressful response with laughter."

"Some studies suggest it lowers blood pressure, there have been other investigators who have shown it may have an affect on immune response, so perhaps better response from someone who has a common cold or infections when they laugh," adds Miller.

In fact, research shows that 15 minutes a day of laughter, real deep laughter, is as important for your heart as 30 minutes of exercise three times a week.

Have you taken a vacation this summer? Experts say if you don't give yourself a break, your body could start rebelling. Here are some ways your body is telling you to take a vacation. Are you overreacting to small problems? Are you making mistakes? How are you sleeping?

Excess stress greatly interferes with quality sleep, which causes a variety of health problems. Stress also has real physical symptoms, backaches, headaches, stomach aches and eye strain.

Family vacations and summer camp are some of the best things about the summer break but all that free- time could have your child developing bad- habits. Starting now, some child psychologists suggest parents help kids cut-back, little-by-little and if your child puts up a fight, the doctor says it's okay to incentivize! Now is also the time to start forming good habits, like reading.

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