The New Numbers to Live By

Heather Weston

You probably know how many calories there are in a FrozFruit, how many miles you logged on the treadmill, and maybe even your BMI. But there are new (and more interesting) numbers that are key to your physical and emotional health.

5...the upper limit for martinis (or other types of booze) each week
Theres debate about the health benefits of alcohol (moderate drinking has been shown to be a potential boon for your heart) versus the downside (other research has found that drinking can up your risks of breast cancer and other cancers), so the exact amount thats safe for you will depend on your personal health history and risk factors. But as a general guideline for healthy women, Mary Ann Bauman, MD, spokeswoman for the American Heart Associations Go Red For Women campaign, advises patients to cut themselves off at five drinks per week. (One drink equals 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof distilled spirits.) Whats more, seltzer sippers should not start drinking just for cardiac benefits.

1...orgasm!
One happy ending a day might actually be ideal. Whats most important is that you dont go without for too long. Experts say that, in general, we need more orgasms—and masturbation is also a great way to get them. Orgasms release natural opiates, which have anxiety- and stress-relieving properties, says psychiatrist Paul Dobransky, MD, director of Womens Happiness and author of The Secret Psychology of How We Fall in Love. Lowering your stress level, in turn, benefits your heart. Plus, orgasms help keep blood flowing down south, which keeps your pink tissue healthy, he says.

3...hours of yoga it takes per week to soothe low-back pain
When your back hurts, jackknifing into Downward Dog is probably the last thing you want to do. But a study in the journal Spine found that patients with chronic low-back pain who took TWO 90-minute Iyengar yoga classes a week for six months experienced less pain and depression, and they were able to do more than those who followed conventional treatments.

Next Page: 500...the number of calories to cut each day to lose one pound in a week