Saturday, August 10, 2013

Resistance Exercise Could Be Just What You Need To Stop Smoking

Stop Smoking with exercise.  Exercise helps you stop smoking!  I've been saying this all along and now here’s the proof!  A research study found that regular resistance training (weight lifting) can more than double someone’s chances of successfully stopping smoking.

This particular study was published in a journal called Nicotine and Tobacco Research, gives evidence that to lining healthy and having an active lifestyle can actually improve a smoker’s chance of kicking the habit for good.

In the past it was just aerobic exercise that had been scientifically studied and proven to help a smoker stop but now we’re talking resistance training to go with.  So insert Kettlebell here!

The research had 25 males and 25 females who had been smoking for at least one year and were smoking at least five cigarettes a day.   They were given a 60 minute circuit training routine which comprised of ten different exercises.  The 50 members of the group committed to working out two times per week for 12 weeks.  They also received smoking cessation counseling and they were given nicotine patches to last them for the duration of the course.  (RED FLAG for me, but let’s press on)

By the end of the study, 15% of subjects had not relapsed.  They also had lost weight and reduced their
body fat percentage.   Another group at the same time of this study watched an inspirational health video instead of exercising and that group had an 8% success rate.  However, the non-exercise group gained weight and their body fat went up.

So while I don’t support the patch (or any NRT for that matter) what I like best about this study is it shows that exercise, weight lifting and aerobic training increase the chances of staying in the non-smoking section!

The head guy for the study, Dr. Joseph Ciccolo, said: “Cigarette smoking kills more than a thousand Americans every day, and while the large majority of smokers want to quit, less than five per cent are able to do it without help.  We need any new tools that can help smokers successfully quit and it appears resistance training could potentially be an effective strategy.”

Damn right it’s an effective strategy.  Strengthen the body and you will consequently strengthen the mind and the spirit.  To effectively stop smoking requires the ability to keep going.  This is something that is developed through resistance training and exercise.

You’re in the gym, how many times do you hear, “c’mon man, one more rep!”  “Push it!”  “You got this.”  The ability to push past a perceived level of fatigue will translate into the ability to push through a craving.  “OK, it’s been 3 days without a cigarette.  C’mon man, one more day.  Let’s go.  Push it!”

If you're thinking this is you, let me help you get your mind wrapped around it.  You mindset will be crucial to being able to stop and have to push through.  Pick up a copy of my book How To Stop Smoking Without Killing Anyone.  Help yourself or the soon to be ex-smoker in your life!