Harish Chavda is having a laugh
The 53-year-old is to climb to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania during a tough seven-day trek to raise money for Diabetes UK.
And to help him train for the adventure, the IT consultant from Rayners Lane, South Harrow, is relying on a technique he teaches: laughing yoga.
Guffawing, chortling, giggling - whatever you call it, Mr Chavda said the breathing techniques it promotes helps draw oxygen down into cells to aid stamina - especially at altitude - and the endorphins released by chuckling improves mental wellbeing.
Mr Chavda, a married father of three, said: "I started training about four months ago by walking. I'm doing a lot of exercise but I'm a strong believer in the benefits of breathing and laughing yoga.
"It gives me for energy and also most of the challenge of climbing Mount Kilamanjaro is getting in the right mental state.
"Doctors have done research and it's not mumbo-jumbo, it's proven."
Ugandan-born Mr Chavda has runs his unusual Harrow Laughing Club for a year.
He learned to teach the exercises at a Spanish seminar run by an Indian physician Dr Madan Kataria who invented the concept in India in 1995.
He said: "We start with 10 minutes of education then we get through 20 different exercises, like laughing 'ho ho' and 'ha ha'.
"Then we laugh as a group. We begin by pretending to laugh as though you're on a mobile phone. One person laughs and the everyone else starts to laugh too - it's contagious.
"We laugh for 30 minutes and then there's a cool down.
"As part of my laughter group I teach people how to laugh on their own. There's a technique using a mirror. In times I get stressed I use the technique."
Mr Chavda, who chose to generate cash for Diabetes UK because family members have the condition, will start his ascent of the 19,340-ft peak along with 29 others on October 10.
He said: "I want to raise money for charity and I've always wanted to do this event."
Harrow Laughter Club costs 2 and is held between 2pm and 3.30pm at Harrow Quakers Meeting Hall in Rayners Lane, South Harrow, on the first Saturday of each month.