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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Kick the Habit with Exercise

Although we're currently dealing with an "obesity epidemic," I like to think that most men realize (even if they don't put into practice) the fact that regular exercise is necessary for good health and a long life. We can argue many things, but the benefits of exercise just don't seem to be one of them.

Well, chalk one more benefit up to an active lifestyle: a new study shows that exercise can actually help people quit smoking. Led by Dr. Adrian Taylor, a research group found "that moderate exercise, such as walking, significantly reduced the intensity of smokers' nicotine withdrawal symptoms."

Based on research taken from several papers connecting exercise and nicotine withdrawal, the team realized "just five minutes of exercise was often enough to help smokers overcome their immediate need for a nicotine fix."
However, exercise shouldn't be the only route taken when trying to kick the habit:

"West cautioned that it was unknown how long the effects of exercise would last. 'You could in theory use exercise to deal with short bouts of nicotine cravings, but we don't know if it would help in the longer term,' he said. It is likely that exercise would have to be combined with a larger strategy of other anti-smoking techniques to be successful in helping people quit."

But even if exercise can't help you quit, how many other anti-smoking devices can provide you with as many tangible benefits....even when they don't work?



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