0 Quit Smoking By some Professional Help

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Promising to quit smoking is one of the most common New Year resolutions. However, by the end of the first week of January, the craving for nicotine drives people to break the pledge.

Will power may not be enough to kick the habit, experts say. With some help from doctors and by using a nicotine substitute, chances are high to get over the craving.

"This is the third year in a row that I pledged to quit smoking on New Year's Day, but by the 2nd of January, I broke my resolution," Rashid, a 25-year-old software executive, confesses ruefully.

While work-related stress, lifestyle, and peer pressure are some of the basic reasons for people to take up smoking, kicking the habit is the most difficult thing for most.

"Nicotine is one of the most addictive substances known to humankind," P.C. Gupta, director, Healis Sekhsaria Institute of Public Health, Mumbai, said in an Interview.

"Cigarettes and chewable tobacco contain nicotine which makes them addictive. Cigarettes deliver nicotine via the lungs to the brain within approximately 10 seconds. It is this rapid nicotine delivery that makes the cigarettes highly addictive," he said.

Experts say while the craving for nicotine stops most from quitting tobacco, professional assistance may help.

"Studies have shown that help from stop-smoking aids, support from healthcare professionals, and medication can more than double the chances of quitting smoking. In India smokers rely solely on their will power to quit smoking. However, it's important to understand that nicotine is a highly addictive chemical and it is okay to use a smoking cessation aid to wean yourself off the nicotine addiction," Vijai Kumar, director of Pulmonary Medicine & Critical Care at the Yashoda Super Specialty Hospital, Secunderabad, said in an Interview.

According to WHO, around 5.4 million deaths a year are caused by tobacco use. By 2015, the number will rise to 6.5 million, and by 2030, the figure of smoking deaths will be 8.3 million, with the biggest rise in low-and middle-income countries.

Explaining how nicotine hooks a person, Gupta said: "During smoking or chewing tobacco, the nicotine gets absorbed in the blood and reaches the brain. It then activates the area of the brain which gives an individual the feeling of satisfaction."

"Soon the brain begins to seek this feeling regularly, making nicotine highly addictive. In the absence of nicotine, smokers experience irritability, insomnia, headaches, constipation, gas and stomach pain among other withdrawal symptoms, making it extremely difficult for them to quit."

According to Global Adult Tobacco survey, more than a third of Indians chew or smoke tobacco. Nearly a million tobacco-related deaths occur in India annually out of 5.5 million worldwide. India is also the world's third largest producer of tobacco.

However, doctors say that though quitting may be tough, a planned programme may help in kicking the habit.

"The first few weeks are the most difficult, and that is where self-control plus effective planning is needed," Gupta adds.

"It's important to understand situations that may lead to a craving for a smoke, such as drinking alcohol or coffee which can act as triggers. One should devise strategies to deal with such situations - either avoid them (alcohol and coffee) or control them appropriately," he said. "It is important to stay strong and focussed to support your effort through smoking cessation aids."

Experts also suggest a Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT). It is a WHO-recommended therapy that, according to doctors, can double a smoker's chances of quitting. NRT products substitute some of the nicotine normally obtained from cigarettes with therapeutic clean nicotine, helping to prevent or relieve withdrawal symptoms. Once the ex-smoker overcomes the psychosocial need to smoke, nicotine dependence is eliminated by successively reducing the dose of the nicotine replacement.

"Using NRT to replace cigarettes while quitting smoking has proven to be more effective than trying to cut down by using will power alone," said Gupta.

"NRT products provide a small dose of therapeutic nicotine which is sufficient to help control cravings for cigarettes and other withdrawal symptoms that smokers experience when they quit," explained Kumar.

"It was first developed after finding that Swedish submariners performed poorly due to craving and withdrawal symptoms experienced when unable to smoke while at sea. As a method of delivering nicotine into the bloodstream, NRT is a much less dangerous method compared to tobacco smoking," he said.

NRT products are available globally as chewing gum, lozenges, nasal sprays, inhalers and patches. Doctors however warn of possible side effects NRT may have, as has been seen in some cases.

"Though NRTs are safe, for some prescription NRT products, a few neuropsychiatric symptoms such as 'changes in behaviour, agitation, and depressed mood' have been noticed. In such cases smoker management and adaptation to dosage is required," he added.
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0 How AIDS Virus Works

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Scientists have figured out how the AIDS virus deceives antibodies when it invades healthy cells.

Duke University Medical Centre researchers in the US said some of the earliest and most abundant antibodies available to fight HIV can't actually "see" the virus until after it has already invaded a healthy cell.

Previous research had shown that two of the most robust antibodies against HIV -- called 2F5 and 4E10 -- target a specific part of the outer coating of the virus called the MPER region of gp41, the journal Nature Structural & Molecular Biology reports.

The antibodies are able to latch on to this part of the virus, referred to as its "Achilles heel".

"What our studies revealed, however, is that the virus actually creates two versions of this 'Achilles heel'," says Duke Human Vaccine Institute (DHVI) director Barton Haynes who was the senior study author, according to a Duke release.

"One version is for these rarer, broadly-neutralising antibodies, and the other is for the more abundant, first-responding antibodies that won't be able to do much good because the Achilles heel isn't detectable to them until the virus has already gained entry."

Haynes says the findings are important because they distinguish what parts of the virus an antibody needs to recognise from those parts that are decoys.

Nathan Nicely led the study and as member of the DHVI designed and conducted most of the crystallography studies. The study was funded by a Collaboration for AIDS Vaccine Discovery Grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
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0 How To Stay Healthy In This Winter

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1. Wash Hands!
Frequent handwashing is a must if you hope to keep germs at bay. Viruses and bacteria can live for hours on surfaces touched by an infected person. Then they are transferred to the next healthy person to come along. Wash your hands vigorously with soap and warm water for 10-15 seconds. Use liquid soap rather than bar soap, and disposable paper towels to dry hands. Avoid overusing anti-bacterial soaps. They sound good in theory, but can actually support bacterial development.

2. Don't Touch
While handwashing is the first line of defense, even clean hands should stay away from eyes, noses and mouths to prevent germs from infecting the body. Avoid touching your face, and teach children to keep their hands below their necks whenever possible.

3. Use Hand Sanitizers
Instant hand sanitizers (like Purell or Bath & Body Works' Hand Gel) are widely available. These products use an antiseptic alcohol to destroy 99% of germs. Small containers are easy to carry in purses, pockets or backpacks and you can use them anytime and anywhere because they don't require soap, water or towels to be effective.

4. Bring Your Own
Carry your own sanitized items with you and avoid using public facilities. For example, carry your own pen to use at the grocery checkout or reading material for the waiting room. Pass by the public water fountain and bring your own drinks. Before you use any public item, consider who else might have access to it!

5. Cover Up!
If everyone covered their face when they coughed or sneezed, germs wouldn't stand a chance! Unfortunately, many people just can't make this habit stick, and the germs fly free. Encourage kids to turn their head and cough or sneeze into the crook of their elbow -- rather than the palm of their hand -- to avoid passing germs by touch.

6. Segregate the Sick
Multiples are naturally close, and as much as we like to teach our kids togetherness and sharing, it will have to wait until spring! When a family member is feeling under the weather, keep healthy siblings far away! And, of course, don't send sick kids to school, day care, or activities.

7. Disinfect the House
Use germ-killing cleaning products, like Lysol, bleach or boiling water, to disinfect the house. Wipe down the phone, computer keyboard/mouse, door handles, bathrooms, toys, countertops and other common surfaces. Wash dishes in the hottest possible water and allow to air dry, or use an automatic dishwasher. Microwave sponges and dishcloths for 30 seconds to kill bacteria. Replace toothbruses often, especially after illness.

8. Avoid Contagious Crowds
You can't hibernate the winter away, but whenever possible, avoid situations where contagious people congregate. Unless it's an emergency, stay clear of the waiting room at doctor's offices, or seek out a "well" waiting area. Shop during off peak hours or in off-the-beaten-path stores. Think twice about attending playgroups or activities where sick kids might be allowed to roam.

9. Dont's
Don't smoke. Studies show that smokers have more frequent and severe colds. Secondhand smoke dries out nasal passages and makes people more susceptible to respiratory illnesses. Don't drink alcohol, except in moderation. Heavy drinking dehydrates the body and damages immunity. Most importantly, don't get run down. When you're stressed, tired or undernourished, your body just can't fight off illness.

10. Do's
Get plenty of sleep. Exercise, especially aerobic, increases the body's virus-killing cells. Even better, exercise outside in the fresh air, away from dehydrating indoor heating systems and recirculated, germy air. Eat healthy foods with lots of vitamins, like colorful fruits and vegetables, whole grains and yogurt. Drink fluids; it flushes out your system. Take care of yourself!
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0 Simple Skin Tips For You

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Everybody wants to look younger, it doesn't matter whether you are a man or a woman; and with the wide variety of skin care products on the market today, there is sure to be something to suit your needs. The first thing you need to do is keep your skin clean, wash your face twice a day, once in the morning and once more at night. Do not use harsh soaps, choose a mild aloe-vera based soap and pat your skin dry, do not rub because rubbing can cause irritation which can lead to other skin problems. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables to maintain a healthy diet and do some exercise because exercise not only stimulates the heart but all the other parts of the body as well.

When you are going outdoors you should always protect your face with a sun block because the sun is responsible for such symptoms as wrinkles, blotchy pigmentation, dryness, texture changes and uneven skin color and makes the skin look older. You might also consider wearing sunglasses as they will protect the eyelids from aging and will cause you to squint less, which is what causes crow's feet because of exposure to the sun without eye protection.

One of the simplest ways to looking younger that does not require any sort of creams or lotions is to smile, as your face tends to conform to the expression that you carry most of the time. If you are continually scowling you are most likely to develop wrinkles between the eyes, furrows that come from a frowning facial expression and lines that seem to turn down at the corners of the mouth. You should try and have a smiling, relaxed, pleasant expression on your face so that your face can take on that happy expression so you won't look so severe and it will definitely make you look younger.

There are many skin care products that are said to make the skin look younger such as Oil of Olay Age Defying Lotion, Retin-A and Alpha hydroxyl acids. Oil of Olay Age Defying Lotion can be bought at your local drug store or supermarkets and is one of the safest products that can be used without any side effects. 
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0 A Guide To Getting Fit

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There are some important steps which will help you on your way to getting fit, healthy and staying that way. First know what it takes to for you to get healthy and fit. Is it an exercise program, a change in lifestyle or diet? No matter what it is the first step is identifying what needs to change in order accomplish your goal.

Getting motivated

Getting motivated is one of the hardest things to do, for anything but especially when it comes to getting fit and being healthy. There aren't many who find exercise naturally enjoyable so finding something that motivates you to stay with it is vital. Here are some ways you can get motivated to stick to your exercise program. Find something you enjoy doing. Do you love riding a bike through a park, or walking with friends? How about things like yoga, or Tai chi, these things can all be turned into an enjoyable exercise.

If you love outdoor activities try making a date with some friends to do it together. Having a good support system is another way of staying motivated. Have a goal, what is your reason for being fit, is it kids, or having more energy, no matter what it is there definitely needs to be a goal you're reaching for.

Create a plan and stick with it

Create a plan and stick with it. Nothing will cause you to fail faster than heading out without a plan or giving up on the one you create. So take the time to work out a solid usable plan with milestones and goals. Identify your reason behind wanting to get fit and healthy, then identify personal goals like how much weight would you like to lose, how many miles you want to run or bike and set a long term time limit, then break it down into monthly goals.

Do you need to change your diet put that in too and create a diet plan or shopping list of things you'll need to add to your diet. Then set up how you're going to go about accomplishing your goals. Make sure they are things that you can do realistically. Once you've created the plan stick with it, when it gets tough take a look at your plan and goals and hold on, you'll be able to see the results.

What the long-term benefits are

You might be asking yourself especially right in the middle what the benefits are. Here are some of the benefits, more energy, less stress, better health and a longer more active life, no matter what your reason for getting healthy and getting fit, sticking with it and being motivated is a necessity.
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2 Exercise Make You Feel Good

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Exercise Make You Feel Good
Scientists have come up with another good reason why we must exercise. It helps us feel full too.

Besides burning calories, exercise also sensitises nerve cells (neurons) into a feeling of satiety, which leads to reduced food intake and consequently weight loss, concludes a new study.

The study was led by José Barreto C. Carvalheira, University of Campinas, Brazil, reports the journal Public Library of Science-Biology.

This disclosure may bring hope to over 40 per cent of the population that suffers from weight problems and obesity worldwide, according to a statement of the University of Campinas.

Excessive consumption of fat is believed to create failures in the signal transmitted by neurons controlling satiety in a region of the brain called the hypothalamus. These failures can propel uncontrollable food intake and, consequently, obesity.

Carvalheira's team demonstrated that exercising obese rodents showed signals of restored satiety in hypothalamic neurons and decreased food intake.

Physical activity contributes to the prevention and treatment of obesity, not only by increasing energy expenditure but also by modulating the signals of satiety and reducing food intake
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