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Remember these magic numbers for your physical and mental health

Updated on July 25, 2008

These numbers are more important than your blood pressure or bank account balance

How long has it been since you woke up feeling fresh, or fell asleep smiling. You can be over-stressing yourself without realizing it. Forget about the disposable numbers: your blood pressure, your body weight and even your blood cholesterol level. The following are the most important numbers to keep you going healthy and happy.

One: the minimal number of sexual contact you should have every day.

It does not have to be vigorous sex that leaves your head spinning for minute and your heart racing for hours. It can be a quick passionate good-morning kiss, a bedtime touch, or a heart-warming short text message during work. These small gestures can be interpreted by both partners as love and elicit the same endorphins that relax us after good sex or good exercise.

Two: the number of laughs every waking hour.

A hearty laugh only takes 2 seconds. Frequent laughs through the day have been shown to reduce the incidence of coughs and colds. They also help to keep high blood pressure on check. It is often easier to laugh when you are relaxing with your friends and family. However, even laughing alone, at humor in print or on TV, gives the same benefit.

Five: the number of hugs per day you need to boost your health

Researchers found that subjects who felt loved by family and friends have healthier blood cholesterol levels and Body Mass Indexes. Give and receive five hugs a day. Hug yourself if there is no one to give it to. To make up for the numbers, you'd have to make time to see your friends and relatives, even in the midst of a busy work schedule.

Eight: the number of hours of sleep at night

You might think it wasteful to sleep eight hours when you can get by with fewer. The fewer hours you sleep at night, the more frequent you lose your attention during the day. Insomnia is paradoxically a feature of people who think they can do with less sleep than others. Go to bed and wake up at about the same time every day, even during holidays, is the basis of healthy sleep and treatment against insomnia and other sleep disorders.

Ten: the number of blessings you count at the end of the day

Make a habit of counting your blessings and you will find that your days have been great in spite of the many times you frown, or swear or shout at yourself or others.

Ten thousand: the number of steps to walk, jog or run every day. You remember this by knowing 125x8x10 equals ten thousand.

Exercise relaxes us. It also helps us to control our weight and hence enhance our self-image. Ten thousand steps per day is easy to achieve, if you become creative with it. Get a pedometer. Getting off public transport before you reach your destination, taking the stairs, parking your car two blocks away are all easy ways to get in your extra fifty or hundred steps. You might need to top it up with a short jog or run if your numbers are in the red by evening time. This end-of-day short run may become unnecessary (or so enjoyable that you do it any way) when you are more used to it.

So once more boys and girls: 1,2,5,8,10 and 10,000, for health and happiness.

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