A study combining the data from 19 previous clinical trials found that a bout of exercise could help quitters ward off nicotine cravings.
The study was led by Adrian Taylor, professor of exercise and health psychology at the University of Exeter.
Prof. Taylor found that participants randomly chosen to go for a brisk walk or a cycle ride when they had a cigarette craving, had less desire to smoke afterwards than those who were chosen randomly to watch a film or relax quietly.
“Certainly, exercise seems to have temporary benefits, and as such can be strongly recommended,” he said.
Exercise not only provides a great distraction from thoughts of smoking, it also releases feel-good hormones that reduce stress levels. Because many people smoke when they feel unhappy, bored, or stressed – exercise could fill the emotional gap smoking leaves.
One in every five adults in the UK smokes regularly: a statistic that sadly contributes to the huge numbers of people who die every year from smoking-related illnesses. An estimated 100,000 people a year die from diseases such as lung cancer, heart disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Treatment for smokers is thought to cost the NHS around £2.7 billion a year, and an estimated £2.9 billion in work productivity is lost from the economy due to employees taking smoking breaks.
If you are one of the two-thirds of all UK smokers who wish to quit their unhealthy habit, then you could try hypnotherapy as an effective alternative to traditional methods.
Hypnotherapy is based on the power of suggestion and uses specialist linguistic techniques to alter the behavioural patterns that lead to addictive impulses.
To find out more, please visit our Quitting Smoking page.
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