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Even Light Exercise Helps Smokers Quit

This is for my blogging friend Elijah, from Google Health News:

Even short bouts of light exercise such as strolling can help smokers quit by reducing cigarette cravings and withdrawal symptoms, say scientists at the University of Exeter in the UK.

The study is published in the April edition of the journal Addiction.

The scientists suggest that a short session of moderate exercise, lasting for as little as five minutes, is sufficient to reduce cravings for a cigarette.

“People who struggle to give up smoking could make things much easier for themselves by taking just moderate exercise,” said lead author Dr Adrian Taylor of the University of Exeter’s School of Sport and Health Sciences.

“Not only may it help prevent weight gain but it will also help control the cravings and withdrawal symptoms that often lead to relapse,” he added.

With today, 14th March, being National No Smoking Day in the UK, it is expected that one third of UK smokers (around 4 million people) will try to give up and 85,000 will do so for good.

Dr Taylor and his co-authors reviewed 12 studies on the effect of a single session of exercise compared to no exercise on three outcome measures: cigarette cravings, withdrawal symptoms and smoking behaviour. All reported beneficial impact on at least one of the three outcome measures.

The papers they reviewed covered between them nearly 1,400 people who rarely exercised and in all but one study stopped smoking during the period of the experiment.

The participants were assessed while they were doing the exercise using single and multi-item questions on cravings, symptoms of withdrawal and negative affect, the results of which reduced rapidly during exercise and remained reduced for up to 50 minutes afterwards.

Most of the studies on withdrawal symptoms showed a significant reduction in 2 of 6 symptoms: stress, restlessness, irritability, anxiety, tension and poor concentration.

Most of the studies showed increasing reductions in cravings and withdrawal symptoms with increasing duration and intensity of exercise, but even a short 5 minute seated exercise showed beneficial effects.

For the rest of the article, Click here.

March 14, 2007 Posted by | Family Issues, Health Issues, News, Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Who Knew? Skimmed Milk Gets Top Post

When I blog, I know what I think is important. I don’t just blog what I think is important, I also blog what I think is funny, what catches my eye, what I want people who don’t live in Kuwait to know about how life here is different from their life, and then.. . things in the news that might be obscure, but interesting.

Every day, the Who Knew? Skimmed Milk Affects Fertility post gets hits. Although I only posted it two weeks ago, it is the leader for the last thirty days, way ahead of the next most popular post.

I never know. Mostly I blog because I have things ( originally wrote “thinks” which must be truly Freudian) I want to say, but in any kind of communication, you need feedback. Feedback, for me, is a combination of what you comment, and what you read – my statistics. It just cracks me up, what you, the reader, find most interesting in my posts as opposed to what I am thinking when I post. Go figure!

March 14, 2007 Posted by | Blogging, Communication, Cross Cultural, Customer Service, ExPat Life, Language, Statistics | 2 Comments

Outside My Window

I live a busy life. To bring some order into the enormous potential for chaos, I have routines. Not inviolable routines; I can be flexible when I need to be, but routines that help me take care of the important things so that they don’t get lost in the pressure of other demands.

I start each day with coffee, and sit at my laptop and check all my e-mail. I read my daily readings in the Lectionary (see blogroll). Then I check the blog and respond to comments. Sometimes I write an entry, sometimes I don’t.

So this morning I have just sat down with my coffee, just opened my first e-mail, and suddenly, three men are outside my window, washing the windows. I am still in my nightgown, and had NO warning.


The Qatteri Cat was fascinated, and thought I had arranged this for his special entertainment. I was aghast, and rushed to the back rooms, away from the prying eyes.

I needn’t have worried. As you can see, just as I grabbed my camera, another traffic accident happened and they were very taken with the loud argument that ensued. My friends, the Kuwaiti police showed up about an hour later to sort things out.

March 14, 2007 Posted by | Blogging, Blogroll, Customer Service, ExPat Life, Kuwait, Living Conditions, Lumix, Photos, Random Musings, Uncategorized | 5 Comments

Kiss the Kuwaiti Police

In the middle of the night last night, I was wide awake. The Qatteri Cat and I watched a police stop outside our window for about an hour.

I am guessing it was a combination traffic stop and training session. There was one guy who would gather the rest together when there were no cars and give additional techniques to the less-experienced traffic policemen. I am guessing, because there is no way on earth I would go out and ask!

Policeing in Kuwait is SO different. These young men are very professional. They were looking for people without driver’s licenses and / or without registrations. They had very cleverly positioned themselves so once the car was on the road, there was no way out but to go through them. Very strategic, very professional.

“So what is so different?” you might wonder, if you live in France, or Germany, or China or the US. “Isn’t that what police do?”

Yes. And no. One of the last people caught in the web was an old man traditionally dressed in thobe and gutra and egal, and he tried to get through by pretending he didn’t see the police. He didn’t have the right papers.

In my country, just trying to get through would get him into trouble.

He had to park, and get out of the car. Then, he went to each policeman and reached out with his right hand to take the policeman’s left arm, then he kissed them, on the nose or on the right cheek, and greeted them, still holding their arm or hand.

And the police treated the old man with deference, and kindness – and firmness. He still didn’t have the right papers. At one point, he pushed a policeman lightly, and the policeman didn’t go ballistic, but he gently pushed the old man back, out of his face. Finally, it was time to move the traffic stop, and they let him go, but I am guessing that, as the Kuwait Times always says “a case will be filed.” It did not look like he was getting off scot-free; the old man looked very unhappy.

I went back to bed happily, thinking how shocked our police would be, how they would react to someone holding their hand and kissing their nose, and drifted back to sleep with a big grin on my face.

March 14, 2007 Posted by | Adventure, Bureaucracy, Crime, Cross Cultural, Customer Service, ExPat Life, Generational, Kuwait, Living Conditions, Middle East, Relationships, Social Issues | 3 Comments