Life After Cigarettes One Year Out: A Few Updates

Now that Life After Cigarettes has been out for a year and some change, I thought it might be an opportune moment to sift through my follow-up file and provide a few updates: In Chapter 4, I mentioned evidence that in addition to increasing physical activity, it’s important to reduce sedentary time.  A new study by Em­man­u­el Sta­matakis and colleagues in the American Journal of...
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Ring In the New Year with “Gain-Framed” Resolutions

Ending a blogging drought to wish you a happy and a healthy 2011. Yes, it’s that time again, a time that many see as an occasion to set goals for the coming year – goals we hope will make our lives richer in some way, so that when next December 31 rolls around, we can say, “I’m a better and a happier person than I was last year at this time.” Alas, we all know New Year’s...
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French Women DO Get Fat

I marvel at how exportable American culture is.  What is so seductive about our way of life?  Why do others so readily adopt – and sometimes even improve on – our gadgets, our language, our clothing, our food, our habits both good and bad? Having just spent two weeks in the U.K., I’m here to report that we Americans have no hammerlock on overweight and obesity.  Clearly the British...
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Exercise and Music

The aerobics classes at my gym encompass a wide range of ages, so one of the instructors focuses each of her sessions on a different decade’s music.  And when she plays the oldies, the music of the fifties and sixties that I grew up with, I’m convinced my body thinks it’s in junior high school again.  Just a few bars of “Dancing in the Street” and I’m as energized as I was when I...
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Craving Busters

Experts argue about the term that most accurately describes that longing for a cigarette, that itch that cries out for scratching, but no confirmed smoker has any problem identifying the experience.  Craving, urge, desire – whatever you choose to call it – can emerge in half an hour or even less after smoking in an ongoing smoker and is the reason many attempts to quit founder within...
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Move a Little, Lose a Lot: A Review

I rely on regular attendance at aerobics classes to help keep my weight under control.  But although a recent week of babysitting my grandchildren (the reason, BTW, for no blog post last week) kept me too busy to visit the gym, the needle on the scale held steady.  James A. Levine, MD, PhD would undoubtedly call that a textbook example of NEAT (nonexercise activity thermogenesis) in action ...
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“If You Can Walk, You Can Dance”

Until his untimely death from kidney failure in 2002, Tomás Chavez was a fixture on the Ann Arbor fitness scene.  At various times over the years, I took classes in floor aerobics, step aerobics, and ballroom dancing with Tomás at the local gym.  My husband gamely joined me in the ballroom dance classes, despite being, in his own words, “dance-impaired” (hard to explain when he’s an...
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