Friday, December 26, 2008


According to a scientific study conducted at Vanterbuilt University, laughter has been proven to burn calories. That's right! Laughing raises your energy expenditure and, thus will increase your heart rate by up to 20 percent.This is exciting news: it means that laughing about 10 extra minutes a day, would increase your energy expenditure by 10 to 40 calories per day, which could translate into about 4 pounds a year! Click here to read the study.

Okay, so I admit that it may not be the most effective exercise plan in the world, but I would argue it is the most fun. You will have to do quite a bit of laughing to burn off those Christmas calories you've ingested over the past month. According to the study, it would take 15 minutes of a hearty chortling to burn just 2 Hershey's Kisses and a whole hour to burn a chocolate bar. But every calorie counts so laugh, laugh, laugh!

So here are a few ideas for holiday-themed Laughter Yoga exercises I recommend you try in this festive season. Get the whole family to join you and the laughter will keep rolling.

Grab your belly and laugh like Santa. Ho ho ho! Really go for it, perhaps even run around the room tossing gifts at people while laughing. Try doing it for a whole hour (you know, because of that extra pound of fudge you just ate). After everything you say, add a big, jolly "ho ho ho!" It'll make you feel great and as an added bonus, it will drive your relatives crazy.

Snicker like a devious little elf. Try not to get caught but keep going "he he he!" all the same. Tip toe around and giggle quietly. Having a ridiculous hat like mine definately helps.

Sip your cup of hot chocolate and pretend it is oh so hot. Exaggerate your shock. Fan your mouth. Laugh. Fan. Laugh more. Take another sip. Repeat. Just keep in mind that if you use real hot chocolate for this exercise, you'll be taking in more calories, which will take another hour to burn off. But if you are enjoying the laughter, go ahead! Notice my "ha ha ha" mug. This is a special gift from my dad, who apparently was served coffee in it at a restaurant and knew I would want it so he begged the waitress to sell it to him. ha ha ha!

Make up holiday Laughter Yoga exercises of your own. If there are children around, they will be of great help. Enjoy yourself and keep laughing because it will boost your health and happiness. Happy Holidays! Ho ho ho!

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