About 400 senior citizens attended the San Diego County-sponsored Vital Aging Conference in Balboa Park today, where they were encouraged to use laughter as a way to stay healthy.

"During these challenging times, it's important for us to keep a good perspective about the ups and downs of life," said San Diego County Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Dianne Jacob. "Laughter helps us reduce stress and see our situation in a positive light."

The biannual conference, which is held by the county's Aging and Independence Services, is intended to provide a venue where older adults and caregivers can access resources on health issues.

In keeping with the "Laughter for the Health of It" theme of the conference, Dr. John Glick, a physician and professional clown, discussed how to live a more loving and healthy life.

Glick is on the board of the Gesundheit! Institute, which organizes "humanitarian clown" visits to prisons, hospitals, nursing homes, orphanages and refugee camps around the world.

The conference, held at the Balboa Park Club, also featured local speakers who shared the benefits of meditation, yoga and Tai Chi.