Health reports: Facts and figures

Danielle Braff

Mind power in 10 minutes

Give your mind a boost in just 10 minutes by talking to friends. A study by the University of Michigan found that chatting and socializing is just as effective as exercising to improve your intellectual performance.

Study: Play games, get happy

You can build your confidence and improve your mood in just five minutes if you play games, according to a McGill University study. The study reports that people who play games for just five minutes a day for seven days straight said they felt less stressed and more confident. Find some free games created by psychologists at MindHabits.com, and start playing to get happy.

Great sex in 7 to 13 minutes

The best sex lasts between seven and 13 minutes, according to research done at Behrend College. The study reported that less than seven was too short and more than 13 was too long. So hop into bed and start your timers. You can thank us later.

50 

There’s yet another reason why adding muscle is good for your body. Your body will burn an extra 50 calories per day for every pound of muscle you gain. So if you turn five pounds of fat into five pounds of muscle, you’ll automatically gain an extra 250 calories each day. Now that’s a reason to do an extra pushup.

10

Get off the train one stop early and walk, and you’ll see your body significantly improve, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association. Walking for as little as 10 minutes a day will improve your cardiovascular fitness. Can’t muster the energy to get on the treadmill? Baby step your way to health.

$5

It only takes $5 to buy yourself some happiness. Simply spend the cash on someone else, and you’ll experience a surge of joy, according a study in Science journal. Just make sure you don’t blow the spending on yourself – the study says you’ll only get that surge if you spend it on someone else.

60

A study in Current Biology shows you’re 60 percent more reactive to emotional situations if you didn’t get enough sleep. Find yourself fighting more with your partner? Road rage getting out of control? Up the number of hours you sleep each night and you may find yourself turning into a more centered person.

Can you stop complaining?

Take a pledge to stop complaining for 21 days, and you’ll find happiness, according to Will Bowen, author of “A Complaint Free World.” He suggests you wear a bracelet, and move that bracelet to the other wrist every time you catch yourself complaining. Each time you move the bracelet, your complaint score drops to zero again and you’ll have to start the 21 days over again.

Drink up

Go ahead and drink that red wine without feeling the least bit guilty. A University of California, Los Angeles, study found that red wine ranked No. 2 on a top 10 list of disease-fighting antioxidant beverages. And while pomegranate juice ranked No. 1, red wine is just so much more fun.

Biggest risk factor for breast cancer

Unfortunately, 82 percent of women don’t realize that age is the biggest risk factor for breast cancer. There are other factors at work, but the truth is that the odds rise quickly once you hit your 40s.

Sleep to get slim

Here’s another reason you should be getting enough sleep. According to researchers at Laval University, people who sleep seven to eight hours a night were least likely to become obese. Those who sleep for five or six hours are 27 percent more likely to become obese, and gain 124 percent more body fat than those in the seven to eight hour category. But don’t sleep too long – according to the study, those who sleep for nine to 10 hours per night are 21 percent more likely to become obese than those “just right” sleepers.

Hidden calories in your powdered creamer

Drinking powdered coffee creamers can add up to as much as 7.5 grams of saturated fat each day, according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a nutrition-advocacy group. Sound high? That’s because most powdered coffee creamers have a half-gram of saturated fat per teaspoon, and most Americans use a tablespoon or more in each cup and have more than three cups a day. That adds up to a whole lot of fat. Instead, try using 2 percent or skim milk in your coffee.