No doubt, you’ve seen or heard the old adage that “laughter is the best medicine!”, well we’re here to bring you some bad news. But it’s not ALL bad!
We know that sometimes laughter just doesn’t cut it to treat all illnesses, but is it possible that laughing burns more calories than going for a run?
Sadly no, according to the BBC* you’d have to do approximately three hours of laughing to burn off a small bag of chips.
That being said, research published in the International Journal of Obesity “calculated that just 15 minutes of laughter a day will burn 10 to 40 calories, depending on a person’s weight and the intensity of the laughter. That’s enough to shift between 1 and 4lb a year.”
It turns out that when you laugh, your body decreases the stress hormones in the body (cortisol, adrenaline and dopac) and increases the beta-endorphins (which lower feelings of depression).
The American Psychological Society says that “it’s not only laughter that changes our body’s chemistry — the mere anticipation of laughing does, too (when you’re driving to see a funny movie, for instance)”, and that your brain will also respond to laughter even if it’s being faked!
However, it’s also important to understand that everything you do burns calories! Here’s a few examples of small activities and the calories burned:
- Gardening: 68
- Shooting pool: 42
- Shopping: 40
- Driving: 34
- Typing: 25
So whilst you may not be able to substitute your exercise for laughter, there’s no harm in adding it to your routine!