For everyone asking "how do I quit smoking?" the World Congress of Cardiology is in Dubai has an answer. They claim that exercising can help people quit smoking.
The research was done in Taiwan and the big findings of the study shows smokers are 55% more likely to quit smoking if they exercise and 43% less likely to relapse as a result of exercise. The study looked at nearly 430,000 people who quit smoking.
Dr. C.P. Wen, one of the researchers, explains: "Exercise can help smokers to quit and quitting smoking has been shown to significantly reduce the risk of developing cardio-vascular disease and that must be the goal of all smokers.
If smokers can continue to exercise, not only they can increase the quit rate, but also they can reduce their mortality for all cause and for cardio-vascular disease in the long run."
Quit smoking exercise doesn't need to take long
If you did just 15 minutes exercise each day you have the huge increase in the chances of stopping smoking and staying stopped.
"Our message is to quit and exercise — to do both is the best," says Chi Pang Wen, a professor at the National Health Research Institute and China Medical University Hospital in Taiwan, who presented the data at the World Congress of Cardiology meeting in Dubai.
This research is great news for people wanting to quit smoking but unfortunately even highly trained people who research the field of quitting smoking still reel out the accepted (but incorrect) wisdom. Professor Wen said "Trying to quit is a painful process. That painful process creates a vacuum. This substitute, which is exercise, will distract the smokers from thinking every day about the need to smoke."
I would beg to differ on the psychology behind why exercise helps people quit smoking. Smoking is NOT hard to quit with the right mindset. I and many other people I know were able to stop immediately and with no side effects/cravings/withdrawal because we had the right mindset. Exercise will help develop and strengthen that mindset.
People who used to smoke and then stopped and then stay stopped rarely succeed by substituting smoking for something else. The long term winners just stop and are so glad that they have stopped they just get on with their life. If you had toothache for weeks and weeks and then finally got the tooth fixed and the pain went away would you try and find a different way to inflict pain on yourself or would you just get on with your life?
There's great news for people who don't quit smoking too
If you continue to smoke, for whatever reason, then the 15 minutes of exercise a day will help increase your life expectancy too. The exercise doesn't even have to be difficult. A 15 minute walk counts as exercise. This can increase the life expectancy of smokers according to a previous study done by Professor Wen which was published in The Lancet.
By doing 30 minutes of exercise a day life expectancy can be increased by nearly four years in people who continue to smoke. This improvement is comparable to ex-smokers who do little or no exercise.
Ex-smokers who do 30 minutes of exercise a day can increase their life expectancy by just over five and a half years and reduce their risk of death by 43% and this level of health is comparable to non-smokers who are inactive.
Professor Wen encourages everyone to exercise but especially smokers."We want smokers to do as much exercise as possible"
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