Reprinted thanks to Shape magazine

The next time you want to boost your health, skip the health club and go to a comedy club. According to Stanford University School of Medicine psychiatrist William Fry, M.D., laughing burns calories and helps your health. While exact caloric expenditure is not yet known, it is thought that 100 good laughs equals some of the physiological benefits of 10 minutes on a rowing machine, even though it doesn't boost aerobic fitness. "Even chuckling has some effect," says the good doctor.

Fry has studied the effects of laughter for 43 years. He's found that "mirthful laughter has a positive impact on many physiological functions," including heart rate, respiration and the nervous and immune systems. The brain also is stimulated into greater alertness, Fry says, which may enhance memory and sociability--giving new truth to the time-honored link between wit and wisdom. (The quality of the wit doesn't seem to matter, only the quantity.)

So, what are you waiting for? Slip on those sweats, lace up those sneakers and let "Seinfeld" help you laugh your way to better health.

Gregory Orr

[ As Read On Car Talk ]