Kick the Smoking Habit through Exercise
Anyone who smokes or has smoked cigarettes knows how difficult it can be to quit the habit. It seems that any little stressful situation which arises gives good cause to light up and spend a relieving 5 minutes puffing away the cares of the world. The problem is that all those blissful moments of smoking drain your energy, make you sluggish, cause you to wreak of smoke, and ultimately enhance the risk of disease and health related problems.
The good news is that studies have revealed that even mild amounts of exercise can help you combat the urges of cigarette smoking. The results of 14 previous studies on smoking and exercise were combined by researchers from the University of Toronto and the University of Exeter and published in a recent addition of “Addiction” journal.
What the Science Reveals
By comparing the results of 14 separate studies which had previously been conducted on exercise and smoking, researchers came to the following conclusions:
It was shown in 12 of the studies that a single performance of exercise created a rapid decrease in the subjects’ desire for a cigarette. It also reduced withdrawal symptoms as well as other negative effects associated with addiction to cigarettes.
These studies revealed that small periods of simple exercises were as effective at decreasing nicotine cravings as a nicotine patch. As little as 5 minutes of isometrics, walking, or other mild exercises provided around a 15 minute reduction in cravings.
High intensity exercise produced even better results. An exercise program done at high intensity resulted in between 30 and 40 minutes of cigarette craving relief. Most of the studies also concluded that regular exercise significantly reduced withdrawal symptoms such as stress, anxiety, restlessness, tension, poor concentration and irritability which are associated with nicotine addiction.
Although admitting that further studies were necessary to reveal why exercise diminishes the effects of nicotine addiction, Michael H. Ussher, Guy Faulkner and Adrian H. Taylor, authors of the study on the effects of exercise on smoking, went as far as to comment that “relatively small doses of exercise should be recommended as an aid to managing cigarette cravings and withdrawal symptoms.”
If you’re still puffing on cigarettes, kick those butts by hitting the gym instead of puffing your life away. Not only will you feel better and smell better, but you will get ripped in the process!
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