A new meta-analysis suggests, that smokers who are trying to quit might want to take a jog the next time a cigarette craving overtakes them.
Analyzing 19 trials, researchers found that a bout of exercise generally helped quitters reduce their nicotine cravings. Smokers were randomly assigned to either exercise – most often, brisk walking or biking – or some kind of passive activity. After exercise, smokers reported about one-third lower cravings compared with being passive.
It is not completely clear why this happens. Speculation goes that exercise serves as a distraction. Being active might also boost people’s mood, so that they do not feel as great a need to feel better by smoking.
None of the smokers in these studies was using nicotine replacement products. Besides as people tend to gain weight during quitting, exercising is limiting this effect. It’s a win-win situation!
Source : Addiction 2012.