If the expression "laughter is the best medicine" holds true, then we should really be looking forward to April! Known as the month of "fools," April brings us the opportunity to relive the mischief of our childhoods by playing little tricks, telling jokes and spreading laughter like when we were kids.
When we laugh, we stretch our muscles in our body and face, we breathe faster, our blood pressure and pulse go up and this all sends more oxygen to our tissues. Maciej Buchowski, of Vanderbilt University, pioneered research in which he measured calories expended during the laughing process. He noted that for every 10-15 minutes of laughter we burn 50 calories. I think a new fitness craze is about to emerge!
There are other claims of how laughter improves immune response, blood sugar levels, relaxation, sleep and even dulls pain. Researchers still question if it's the actual laughing process or a positive attitude, a good sense of humor or the support of family and friends that also play a role.
While the jury's still deciding which way to rule, I hope you get a laugh from this month's comic on page 4 and will be well on your way to burning those calories!