- Exercise Helps Smokers Quit
- An article in the WASHINGTON POST Health section reports that an
increasing number of studies show that exercise can
significantly improve a smoker's chances of kicking the habit.
A study of more than 4,000 male runners published in PREVENTIVE
MEDICINE shows that over 70% of those who smoked at the
time they started running subsequently quit smoking.
Other research suggests that exercise is especially important for
women who want to quit, because it helps minimize weight gain, a
common reason why women don't quit smoking. Brown University
School of Medicine recently conducted a study of 281 sedentary,
overweight, middle-age women. Half of the group attended a
cessation a program combined with a three-times-a-week wellness
program, and the other half attended a cessation program with
vigorous exercise three-times-a-week.
The researchers found
that 49% of the women who went through the exercise
program quit smoking while only 29% of the women in the
control group did so.
In addition to minimizing weight gain, exercise can also help
smokers deal with the stress and mood changes that frequently
occur when they stop smoking.
"When people start exercising
regularly, they realize how good it makes them feel," said
Michael Sacks, a professor of psychiatry at Cornell
University's Weill Medical College. "They also begin to
realize that they can take care of their stress without
resorting to destructive things," such as smoking.
- WASHINGTON POST (Health section), (3/23/99) "Smoke And Mirrors", Carol Krucoff, p. 20.
1999 -- All Rights Reserved|