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Training for Baby: Want to burn calories? Start laughing

Posted April 12, 2011 8:30 p.m. EDT

As a firm believer that laughter is the best medicine, I decided to check out how many calories the average person actually burns by laughing.

Apparently, laughing is good for you on so many levels.

According to Discovery Health, laughing helps decrease stress hormones and increase beta-endorphins, which lower depressing feelings, and the human growth hormone, which protects against disease and infection.

Just anticipating laughter can help change these levels, according to an American Physiological Society done in 2008.

But how many calories do we burn?

Laughing helps burn calories because it increases your heart rate by 10 to 20 percent and increases your metabolism, according to a study done by Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s Maciej Buchowski in 2005.

The average person who laughs 15 minutes over the course of a day burns between 10 and 40 calories. That would be a loss of about four pounds a year just from laughing!

I wonder how many more calories I burn if I laugh while I exercise? It could be a new trend – laughter aerobics!

Kathy is a web producer, entertainment expert and concert photographer for She has written a manuscript about her life as an entertainment reporter and pop culture. Learn more about Kathy on her website. On Wednesdays here on Go Ask Mom, she's chronicling her efforts to lose weight before she and her husband start a family.