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Question
Posted by: Cloe | 2004/09/29

Smoking

I decided yesterday to quit smoking. Today is my first day and I am feeling a little anxious. I am going to join the gym this evening and would like to know what exercises I should do to shape my thighs, bum, stomach and upper arms. I would also like to know if there is any food that I can eat to make the cravings less.

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Our expert says:
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HI Cloe

I am delighted that you have taken this step. The anxious feeling is not anything unusual - it is partly a withdrawal problem, chemically controlled, so it helps to be aware of this. I'm not sure how you are going about your quitting, but there are a number of different gums, patches and sprays that can help if you haven't got one already. I would speak with a pharmacist about this. As for food, often people put on weight when they stop smoking because they satisfy their craving with some sort of food. You must be careful not to do this. If you must eat, eat something like fruit or very low in fat and energy foods. Again, a dietician will be able to advise you on this, and the rest of the diet.

Now, for the exercise,the scientific truth is that one cannot "spot reduce". That is, you can't really try and reduce the fat around your stomach, thighs and abdominals by just doing exercises for those areas. This kind of exercise, using specific muscles only, actually burns fewer calories than exercising large muscles groups in dynamic cardiovascular exercise such as walking, jogging, running, swimming or cycling. In order to burn the fat, you need to do these types of cardiovascular exercises as least 4 - 5 times a week for at least 30 - 45 minutes. This will help to increase the amount of calories that you use and help to decrease your body fat.

Having said that, it is still important to do some strengthening and toning exercise and obviously to include exercises that make use of the muscle groups in your abdominal area. The exercises that you do will depend on whether you have access to a gym or you do body weight exercises at home. I would suggest you have a look at the following website through the Health 24 site - http://www.health24.com/fitness/Build_muscle_Tone/16-478-504.asp

Lastly, keep in mind that this is a very common problem, and changes in certain areas can happen very slowly, because some people do just have a specific distribution of fat, and it can be hard to fight against this.

However, be patient and keep at it!

Good luck

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Cloe | 2004/09/29

I am not using any method. Just going cold turkey. I feel that I have enough will power to stop smoking and don't need medication. I don't really want to stop because I enjoy it socially but because I have cancerous cells my b/f feels strongly about it. My father has lunch cancer so this could run in the family. I am proud of you, 11 days is a long time. They say that the first 3 days are the worste. Thereafter you should be ok.

Reply to Cloe
Posted by: RG | 2004/09/29

Hi Cloe,

Today is my 11th day without cigarettes! I'm curious to know what method you are using - I have tried almost everything without having ANY luck. Went for hypnotherapy on 18 Sep and it is absolutely amazing. I found that with all my previous attempts the only thing that I was constantly thinking about was smoking/cigarettes. But now I hardly think about it - I even went clubbing over the weekend (thought I was going to have a hard time - you know smoking and drinking goes SO well together!!) but it wasn't. Was so weird cause all these people were smoking around me and it didn't bother me one bit (except for the smell) So, I would definately recommend it - I obviously still have a very long way to go but I feel so possitive. Give it a try...if you want any inof let me know...

RG

Reply to RG

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