If you hate sayings like “laughter is the best medicine”, it’s time to lighten up because aside from being true, it shows that you’ve lost your sense of humour!

It is said that six-year-olds laugh on average 300 times per day but by the time we reach adulthood we’ve reduced our daily giggles to just 15… if we’re lucky! So what? you might ask, what’s there to laugh at? Well, it’s not just a case of what there is to laugh at, but what happens when we forget to laugh. Basically, life becomes a drudge.

It’s a bit of a Catch-22 situation – by focusing on the constant bad news we’re exposed to via the 24/7 media, it can become difficult to raise a smile. So it might be time to rise above the doom and gloom, turn the TV off, hide your smartphone in a drawer and pick up a comic or a Dr Seuss book. Perhaps read some of the jokes your friends have emailed to you but you were “too busy” to read!

Making this enjoyable change can even help you on your fitness or weight loss campaign. Consider this:

  • Dr William Fry of Stanford University found that laughing 100 times burns off the same amount of calories as 10 minutes on a rowing machine!
  • After a good belly laugh, blood pressure drops to a lower, healthier level than before the jocularity began.
  • Laughter oxygenates your blood, thereby increasing energy levels, relaxes your muscles and works out all your major internal systems such as your cardiovascular and respiratory systems.

So the next time you’re feeling guilty about missing your daily exercise, go and find something funny and have a good belly laugh. It will be more fun, it’s free and you might just live a longer and happier life!

Here’s some exercise for you…

An elderly man lay dying in his bed. While suffering the agonies of impending death, he suddenly smelled the aroma of his favourite chocolate chip cookies wafting up the stairs. He gathered his remaining strength, lifted himself from the bed and shuffled slowly down the stairs.

With laboured breath, he leaned against the doorframe, gazing into the kitchen. Were it not for death’s agony, he would have thought himself already in heaven, for there, spread out upon waxed paper on the kitchen table were literally hundreds of his favourite chocolate chip cookies. Was it really heaven? Or was it one final act of heroic love from his devoted wife of 60 years, seeing to it that he left this world a happy man?

Mustering one great final effort, he lurched towards the table. His aged and withered hand trembled as he reached for a cookie, when his wife suddenly appeared and smacked it with a spatula. “Bugger off” she said, “they’re for the funeral”.