It’s no joke – laughter makes you healthy

YOU have to laugh. Well, you don’t have to but it might just do you some good. For it seems that chuckling, chortling, guffawing and possibly even giggling help your health.

Mirth, it seems, has its worth. For researchers in California (where else?) have found that laughter enhances your mood, reduces stress hormones, boosts the immune system and lowers blood pressure and levels of “bad” cholesterol.

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The scientists concerned, led by a Doctor Lee Berk (we know what you’re thinking … but no, it’s his real name) call what they have discovered “laughtercise”. And no, they’re not joking.

During the investigation, healthy volunteers were asked to watch two 20-minute videos designed to be either distressing or humorous. Not surprisingly, the scenes of killing in Saving Private Ryan did nothing for them, but comedy clips increased hormones produced by moderate physical exercise. No really, they did.

So, conclusive proof that all you need to do to be a budding Usain Bolt or Chris Hoy is to do away with the running and weight training and simply settle down in front of a DVD. You might like to consider “Billy Connolly: laugh yourself healthy”, “Peter Kay’s Phoenix fitness nights” or Michael McIntyre’s “Comedy Road-runner show”. Why aren’t you laughing?