In the News: Laugh your weight away

If you need extra help to shift some weight, then scientists have suggested that we should lighten up and laugh more.

Researchers have calculated that an hour of laughter can burn off around 100 calories – the equivalent of a small chocolate bar. Other less fun ways of burning the same amount of weight include thirty minutes of weightlifting or forty minutes of housework. And giggling away for an hour a day for a year could lead to a loss of about eleven pounds. This is because a burst of heavy laughter provides the body with a mini aerobic workout. The heart beats faster and boosts circulation around the body. The chest is forced to rise and fall and abdominal muscles have to work hard to keep up, tightening the tummy. And the health benefits don’t just end there: laughter requires help from many muscles in the face, keeping them supple and the skin smooth. It also boosts levels of feel good endorphins and cuts stress – and stress is known to increase the chances of weight gain, especially in the belly area.


Other studies have shown that laughter can be beneficial for the heart, boosting circulation as much as exercise or cholesterol-lowering drugs. Even thinking about something funny appears to be good for our health. It is enough to boost our spirits and boost the immune system, with effects lasting for up to 24 hours.


The message is simple: laughing away excess weight by spending time with friends, seeing the humour in situations or watching a funny show or film is a great way to keep in shape, as long as you are not consuming extra calories while you are laughing.

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