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Just A Teaspoon Of Laughter Makes The Exercise Go Down

September 22, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Laughter is said to be the best medicine. But it also, a study finds, may provide the best exercise. U.S. researchers tested a mixture of laughter and exercise in a way that got older adults to not only start exercising but also stick to it. For six weeks, assisted-living participants attended two 45-minute physical activity sessions a week that included eight to 10 laughter exercises lasting 30 to 60 seconds each. The exercises used eye contact and playful behaviors with other participants. Laughter started as simulated, but usually ended up as genuine. The researchers found significant improvements among participants in mental health, aerobic endurance and perceived benefit of exercise. More than 96 percent said they liked the laughter-based exercise sessions.
Celeste M. Greene et al., "Evaluation of a Laughter based Exercise Program on Health and Self-efficacy for Exercise", The Gerontologist, September 22, 2016, © Greene et al.
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