If you have been finding it difficult to quit smoking, and cravings are overwhelming you, there may be a simple solution that you’ve overlooked.
Exercise is now recognized to be one of the best ways to overcome difficult cigarette/nicotine cravings. Researchers have shown that it is possible to decrease these urges by exercising when they occur. Researcher Adrian A. Taylor, who is a professor for the University of Exeter, took part in the study and confirms these findings. “Certainly, exercise seems to have temporary benefits, and as such can be strongly recommended.” Taylor is the professor of exercise and health psychology at the University of Exeter.
After several studies were reviewed, it became clear that physical activity was a reasonable approach to cutting the intensity of cravings in those who were quitting. Running, taking a bike ride, and jogging can all be beneficial for ex-smokers. The study showed that, “Despite a high degree of between-study heterogeneity, effects sizes of all primary studies were in the same direction, with PA [physical activity] showing a greater reduction in cravings compared with controls.”
According to psychology support center PsychCentral, none of the participants in the study used other quitting strategies. Thus, using both or one or the other may be better than simple exercise. However, because exercise is generally beneficial to most individuals, whether they are quitting or not, it is certainly a strategy that quitters should attempt.
Fitness has been shown to be effective for smoking cessation in other studies. Exeter University researchers have pointed out that exercise is beneficial to smoking cessation in a previous study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology.
So if you’re trying to quit smoking, get out there and walk, run, or bike! Get a gym membership, take up a sport. It’s one of the best things you can do to make the quitting process easier to manage, and you’ll be a lot healthier for it!