A running start to kicking the habit
It’s never too late to quit smoking. But it’s tough going, and you can use all the help you can get.
Sure, there are gums and patches and drugs, but those can have some pretty scary side effects.
A support network and behavioral counseling can help you kick the habit. And I’ve told you about how omega-3s can boost your health while you’re working on quitting. But what happens when a craving hits?
A new research review shows that the best thing you can do in that case is to lace up your walking shoes and head out for an invigorating stroll.
Researchers looked at 19 past studies and found that a bout of exercise helps people suppress the urge to light up.
None of the smokers in the studies were using nicotine replacement products.
One study compared exercise (a brisk walk or biking) with passive activities such as watching a video. The researchers found that people said they had less desire to smoke after they worked out than they did before exercising. Passive activities didn’t do nearly as much to curb the cravings.
They’re not sure why it works, but they think it might have to do with exercise acting as a distraction as well as boosting mood. People feel better after exercising, so they seemed less likely to grab that pack of cigarettes.
Another reason it might help is due to the dreaded weight gain that often comes with quitting. Burning extra calories can keep people from packing on the pounds that often drive them right back to smoking.
Other studies showed that exercise helps boost quit rates over the course of a year.
Need some more encouragement for quitting? Search “smoking” at the archive at www.wrightnewsletter.com to see all the benefits kicking the habit offers—and to see that it’s truly never too late!
P.S. Has your doctor told you have high cholesterol. Keep reading to learn about a possible hidden cause.
“Exercise may temporarily ease cigarette cravings,” Medline Plus (nlm.nih.gov)