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July 2007 Archives

Obesity — it's who you know

If you're putting on weight, you might want to take a look at who you're hanging around with.

A study — published in the July 26, 2007, edition of the New England Journal of Medicine — suggests that obesity may be "socially contagious." The study found that your chances of becoming obese are much higher if someone you are closely connected to becomes obese.

And it may not be because you're spending evenings sitting on the couch with your spouse or kids munching potato chips, eyes glued to the tube. Blame your friends.

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Take a break, burn more fat

We've all done it — faced the prospect of a long workout and then balked at doing anything at all. Sometimes spending a whole hour moving one foot in front of the other seems way harder than pouring a second cup of coffee or relaxing in a lawn chair, feeling the sun warming up your toes.

Yeah, we've been advised that we should get at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity every day — preferably an hour. But — unless you're a finely-tuned athletic machine — who can keep it going for an hour?

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On leading horses to water

Ever try to persuade someone to do something that could significantly improve their quality of life? Like your kid, maybe. Or a close friend or relative.

I'm not talking about trying to impose your finely honed view of the world on someone else. I am talking about trying to motivate them about taking steps towards getting a little more active.

It's not easy. It may even be futile.

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Another day, another toenail

Had one of those red-letter days late last week. Actually, it was black and it was a toenail. One that fell off — with a little help. Finally.

Noticed it while I lounged on the couch during a lengthy phone conversation after a shower that followed a 10 K slog on an especially soupy Toronto evening.

Something didn't quite look right with that gnarly nail on the second toe of my left foot. A different kind of "not looking right" from the past two years, when it was merely a discoloured turtle-shell of a toenail. There was a bit of an upward angle to it. And it felt a bit wiggly — like a loose tooth.

So I wiggled it and off it popped, revealing a brand-spanking new pinkish toenail. Ah, the rites of summer.

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