Exercise Helps Women To Fight Cigarette Cravings, But The Effect Is Short-Lived

By Christopher Fisher, PhD


Dozens of studies on whether moderate exercise can curb the nicotine cravings of women smokers have added up to an apparent contradiction: it seems to work in short-term, well controlled lab experiments, but then fizzles out in treatment trials. A new study may explain why and help researchers devise a practical therapy.

The explanation suggested in the results of research led by David Williams, an assistant professor of community health at Brown University, is that while exercise does help improve the mood of smokers and curtail their cravings, the effect is short-lived.

“What we found is that although there is no chronic effect of exercise on cigarette cravings and affective withdrawal symptoms, there is an acute effect that diminishes over a period of several hours to 1-2 days, but can be renewed with each bout of exercise,” said Williams, first author of the study published May 11 in the journal Addictive Behaviors. “One implication for these findings is that exercise may be a useful treatment strategy, but it has to be done frequently enough and consistently enough because the effects that it has diminish over time.”

Full story at The Behavioral Medicine Report

Ending a Midlife Affair with Meds

By Paulina Porizkova


I felt guilty. I felt unnatural. I felt ashamed. Finally, I broke down and confessed my dirty little secret to a girlfriend and found that she not only knew what I was talking about, but she was doing it, too. And the more I opened up about it, the more I found that I was not alone. Women in their late 30s and 40s were all having the same affair.

With an antidepressant.

I started taking Lexapro after my anxiety attacks came back and, for all intents and purposes, practically crippled me. I’ve always had anxiety attacks, or panic attacks as some know them, but after years of learning how to deal with them, I thought I had them under control. While my kids were little, the anxiety attacks even subsided to the point where they hardly bothered me. But at the stroke of 40, they came back worse than ever.

Full story at Huffington Post

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The Health Benefits Of Cycling (Plus A Chance To Win A Bike!)

By Huffington Post


The average American spends just over 45 minutes a day commuting to and from work, according to one survey — but instead of the road-rage fueled car trips or shoulder-to-shoulder public transportation commute, what if you started your day off on a better, healthier note?

The League of American Bicyclists is the national sponsor of Bike Month — and this week, May 16-20 is the official Bike to Work Week. Biking to work can be a cheaper (no gas, tolls or public transportation fees), greener and, yes, healthier option.

Full story at Huffington Post

Wii Fit Helps Patients With COPD To Breathe Easier

By Christopher Fischer, PhD


According to a new study conducted by researchers in Connecticut, the Wii Fit™ offers patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) an effective workout – and one that, because it is enjoyable, patients are more likely to use. The results will be presented at the ATS 2011 International Conference in Denver.

“Our study showed that COPD patients exercised at a relatively high percent of their maximum during three to five minutes of specified Wii Fit™exercises, indicating the Wii™ Fit may be a reasonable home-based exercise regimen for COPD patients,” said Jeffrey Albores, MD, Internal Medicine Resident, University of Connecticut Health Center.

Regular exercise benefits COPD patients by increasing overall muscle tone and improving cardiopulmonary fitness. Getting patients to exercise regularly at home, while ideal, can be difficult, especially when in patients with COPD where exercise tolerance may be limited. Finding an exercise routine that patients enjoy may help motivate them to exercise regularly, said Dr. Albores.

Full story at The Behavioral Medicine Report

31 Ways To Protect Yourself From Toxins In Your Home

By Therese Borchard


In their exceptional, informative book “The Healthy Home: Simple Truths of Protect Your Family From Hidden Household Dangers,” son-and-father team Myron Wentz and Dave Wentz tackle the topic of toxins from room to room, starting with the bedroom and ending with the garage and yard. “Every second of every day, we face an onslaught of unnecessary dangers — toxic chemicals, negative energies, unforeseen side effects and more — in our modern world,” writes Dave, the younger Wentz.

Myron, his father, who holds a Ph.D. in microbiology with a specialty in immunology from the University of Utah, throws in the statistics: “A new chemical substance is discovered every nine seconds during the workday. Chemists discovered the eighteenth millionth chemical substance known to science on June 15, 1998. Many thousands more have been developed since then.” Wrap your brain around that figure for a moment. It looks like this: 18,000,000.

Full story at Huffington Post

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