So, does Santa laugh because he is jolly, or is he jolly because he laughs?

According to Vanderbilt University researchers found that you can burn up to 50 calories laughing during the average funny movie (10-15 minutes cumulative). This is equal to a 13-minute brisk walk!

Also, laughter turns out to healthy for you after all.

Drs. Lee Berk and Stanley Tan of Loma Linda University

found in their study of the effects of laughter, that the physiological response produced by belly laughter had the opposite effect of classical stress. The results of their research indicate that, after exposure to humor, there is an increase of activity in the immune system, including: number and activity level of natural killer cells that attack viral infected cells and some types of cancer and tumor cells; an increase in activated T cells; an increase in the antibody immunoglobulin A, which fights upper respiratory tract infections; an increase in gamma interferon, which tells various components of the immune system to “turn on.” The effects of humor seemed to also have lingering effects of increased levels of these components the next day, as well as decreased levels of stress hormones.

I can’t help but think about the verse from Proverbs in the Bible that says, “A merry heart does good, like a medicine.” Before there was even a microscope, God was revealing this ‘secret.’

In the midst of the world’s turmoil, and personal trials, this good medicine is a must, and all the more reason to celebrate this wonderful season of Joy – Christmas – with joyous laughter!

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