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Little Habits, Huge Health Payoffs

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In Less Than 20 Minutes You Can...

In 15 Minutes You Can...Giggle Away Jiggle

As little as 15 minutes of daily laughter can burn up to 40 calories (about half a fun-size bag of M&M's), reports the International Journal of Obesity. Giggling also cuts stress-hormone levels and bolsters the immune system. There are even benefits for new moms: the Journal of Psychosomatic Research reveals that laughter ups melatonin levels in breast milk, which helps ward off allergies in nursing infants.

In 16 Minutes You Can...Sleep Yourself Slimmer

Preliminary research shows that not getting enough shut-eye is related to obesity. Indeed, people who are at a healthy weight sleep 16 minutes a day more than their heavier counterparts, reports the Archives of Internal Medicine. Researchers believe this phenomenon may be connected to reductions in leptin, an appetite-regulating hormone.

In 17 Minutes You Can...Flatten Your Abs

Americans get antsy after 17 minutes of waiting in line, finds an AP-Ipsos poll. To sidestep aggravation, tighten your lower, middle, then upper abs for 10 seconds each while you wait. Next, lean to one side slightly, then the other, holding each position for 10 seconds. Repeat the moves until you get to the head of the line. "If you do this every time you have to wait, your core will be stronger in just a few weeks," says Amie Hoff, a fitness consultant for New York Sports Clubs.

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