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New Research Claims Exercise May Help You Stop Smoking

Spencer Platt, Getty Images

Smokers who have tried to quit in the past using patches, gum, voodoo witchdoctor magic and other addiction propaganda may just want to step outside for a run the next time they feel the need to smoke,.

new study shows that exercise seems to overcome nicotine cravings.

The study, which was recently published in the journal Addiction, was formulated using data from nearly 20 clinical trials that indicated exercise was a common denominator in helping reduce nicotine cravings in smokers who were trying to quit.

“Certainly, exercise seems to have temporary benefits, and as such can be strongly recommended,” said study leader Adrian Taylor, a professor of exercise and health psychology at Britain’s University of Exeter.

Researchers observed groups of smokers who were assigned to casual exercise like taking a brisk walking or biking, while others were assigned a lazy activity, such as watching a video or sitting quietly.

What they found was that smokers had less interest in smoking after engaging in physical activity than they did before they started.

While study experts admit they are not exactly sure why exercise leads to decreased cravings, some speculate that it is because physical activity might actually serve as a catalyst to making them feel better while decreasing their need to feel better from smoking.

It is worth mentioning that none of the study participants were involved in any type of quit program using nicotine replacement products. Researchers say since the use of these products work to curb cravings, the effects of physical activity could be lost on those smokers who use them.

[Chicago Tribune]

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