Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The Secret to Quit Smoking


Yeah, I know what you're thinking. Some of you out there believe I'm going to tout the latest prescription drug on the market. Others of you are probably thinking I'm going to talk about alternative medicine choices for smoking cessation. (Image credit)

Well, you're both wrong. The secret to stop smoking is simple -- Take A Walk! It's simple. It's natural, and has no side effects. What? Do you think I'm kidding? Do you think I'm out of my mind? (this is possible, ha) But here, I tell the truth.

Described in this Associated Press story, researchers at the University of Exter have found that as little as five minutes of exercise can help smokers quit. The research is published in the medical journal called Addiction.
[Dr. Adrian] Taylor and [his] colleagues reviewed 12 papers looking at the connection between exercise and nicotine deprivation. They focused on exercises that could be done outside a gym, such as walking and isometrics, or the flexing and tensing of muscles. According to their research, just five-minutes of exercise was often enough to help smokers overcome their immediate need for a nicotine fix.

"What's surprising is the strength of the effect," said Dr. Robert West, professor of health psychology at University College London. West was not involved in the review. "They found that the acute effects of exercise were as effective as a nicotine patch," he said.
Who would have thunk this? Exercise conquers nicotine cravings? That's an interesting idea. I wonder if it works for food cravings as well. I'll have to try this out myself. Maybe I can put my tennis shoes next to the potato chips to remind myself. Hmmmmm.....

26 comments:

wolfbaby said...

yes it does work for food cravings as well.. i wonder if it has something to do with the endorphine release in the brain it makes you happy you don't feel stressed you don't crave the cigerate.. it's basically a natural high LOL i have been thinking this for a long time but seeing you saying makes me really believe it;)

The Dark Shadow said...

I am definitely going to try it. I have tried patches, gum and other prescription drugs before, and quit for a few weeks, then started again.
Besides, my body can do with some exercise.

Sarebear said...

I have been HUGELY surprised by the dramatic (although not curative) effects that just 5 mins a day a couple times a week on my exercise bike has on my mental health. Course, that was last August, I've only done it 3 times since then.

It has AS MUCH effect, although in different ways, as therapy or my medications. In different, although some overlapping, or different aspects of similar issues, ways. So one doesn't sub for any of these other components, but all three together? Is SWEET.

But . . . I tend to repeatedly fail at things. Course, that just gives me the opportunity to try again . . . . . . anyway, it's surprisingly effective. And yet I still have trouble getting up to do it.

But I have trouble doing ANY ADL (activities of daily life), so I guess that's just part of my struggle.

Sarebear said...

er, I know the post was about exercise and smoking, but since I've never smoked, I thought I'd post about how it effects my feelings, and some of my cravings and bipolar leanings and riskiness and stuff. Not the same as an addiction, but those among other positive mental and physical effects make it a cool thingie.

Chrysalis Angel said...

Yes, like Wolfbaby said, it works for food cravings as well. I've started biking again, trying to regain all my strength. I used to kickbox 4 x a wk.

I know of one another way someone quit smoking..he had a heart attack at 37. Bad family history, high cholesterol, etc...He quit cold turkey the day he had the heart attack. Not a way to quit!

just me said...

It doesn't seem to work for hubby. He goes to the gym faithfully and still smokes!

Piquet101 said...

I disagree with your'no side effects' statement. The last time I tried walking on a regular basis I lost weight, became fitter and was generally all round more healthy.

Anonymous said...

Sorry for being a party pooper but I have to tell you this:

Facts:
1. I'm a smoker
2. I walk on average 20-30 minutes a day.

It is true that it works, but it is temporary and short-term (half an hour after the walk, the effect is over and you light up).
There is also high tolerance to this effect. If you have been walking every day for years, it wont work as it used to.

Natalie said...

I am a moderate smoker (about 3-5 cigarettes a day) but a smoker just the same. The times i most crave a cigarette are when I am driving or going for a walk. When I am exercising more often I still tend to smoke about the same amount. Unfortunately, it can't work for everyone.

ERC said...

I also have to be a party pooper. Exercise never helped my hubby. He smoked for 45 years, started at age 10. At one point he was smoking four packs per day. He's unfortunately experienced the nasty side effects of smoking. Five heart attacks, CHF, COPD. He's tried EVERYTHING, from Wellbutrin to Patches to Nicotine lollipops. I've seen him doubled over in pain from the withdrawls. Trust me a 15 minute walk wouldn't help. He's been smoke free for 30 days using Chantix. So far, so good. Nicotine addiction is just like drug addiction or alcohol addiction and walking doesn't help drug addicts either.

Pattie said...

I'm not a smoker, but I am addicted to chocolate and Starbucks vanilla lattes...let me know if the walks helps your chip problem. Maybe I'll try it :)

Megan said...

I was a closet smoker when I was teaching yoga. And running 20 miles a week. But I see the benefits for someone who doesn't get as much exercise.

Also, it fits with some of the more traditional recommendations. If you are serious about quitting, when you have a craving you are supposed to "do something else" because the craving actually doesn't last as long as you might think. People who smoke more will have more cravings, regardless of what they do to quit.

~*SilverNeurotic*~ said...

Funny, just yesterday I recommended to someone to take a little walk when he would get stressed. He just quit smoking and had mentioned not dealing well with stress without smoking. Nice to know I had the right idea!

Visionary & Medium Extraordinaire said...

I've never ever understood addiction of any kind. I've never smoked, but I love a glass of wine now and then, but that's about it. I have to say though, that through my work I've discovered that lung cancer is absolutely the most painful way of dying. It's excruciating the pain people go through, despite painkillers and morphine. It's hard on the cancer patient and on the family's watching helplessly. Especially when the cancer starts creeping up into the throat area, that's usually when it's all over for people.
So I say go walking, go jogging, go swimming, do what ever helps to stop smoking or for that matter, over eating.
I'd like to wish all the smokers out there that want to quit, Best of Luck. Life is worth it, not the smoking.

ab said...

St. Patrick's Day marks one year that I have not smoked. I just posted about it on my blog. I could not have done it w/o exercise, and for awhile, niccorette.

Ajitbhai said...

Are you overweight? You mentioned keeping your tennis shoes next to your dish of potato chips.

Exercise does have an effect on craving for nicotine and food.One really needs motivation to do exercise,not all can manage it.

To control smoking,I ask my patients not to keep a pack with them but to buy only one at a time as we have numerous small street outlets 'paanwallahs',who stock betel leaves and the other ingredients to make up a 'paan',as well as tobacco, cigarettes , toffees,chewing gums etc.

This involves some exercise and also break in the rhythm of chain smoking,when he has to walk for the next puff.I have found encouraging results this way and better still in those going to the gym regularly.

The Curmudgeon said...

The only way to quit anything is to quit.

Cold. Turkey.

I know because I quit smoking that way. Actually I quit dozens of times -- maybe hundreds of times -- before it actually took. But that was over 20 years ago. And I only occasionally get cravings... (yes, even now).

Carol said...

If people could see down the road about 20 years they would never, ever smoke. It's a health-sucking addiction that kills you eventually. I don't know if walking does the trick in terms of smoking, but I walk a good bit and I like the idea of being outdoors and in touch with Mother Nature...LOL..it's good for the soul if nothing else.

My dad died from cardiac failure after years of abusing cigarettes. I guess he enjoyed smoking - I never asked him why he did it. I think it calmed his nerves. Medical science needs to invent something that gives you that same feeling of euphoria without the need for fattening food, alcohol, or cigarettes.

Can you see to that, please, Dr. A. ?

Cheers!

notfearingchange said...

makes sense to me...
it breaks one habit and forms another one...and walking may hopefully release a little more of the endorphines than smoking.

Smoker said...

As easy as it may sound, quit smoking takes a bit more than just walking.

Anonymous said...

The Walk An' Puff Method has been around for at least 50 years. As often as possible, go for a brisk walk and walk as far as you can until "cravings" arise, then slow down to a normal pace, light up and smoke just long enough to kill the "cravings". Put out Mr. Cancer and resume walking briskly until the next "cravings" and so on. If you do this often enough for a couple of months you'll condition yourself to quit smoking "Cold Turkey". So when you're fully conditioned, just quit smoking Cold Turkey and when "cravings" arise start walking briskly and you'll be surprised at what happens. There are other scientific ways to quit smoking "Cold Turkey" believe it or not and you just got through reading one. Smoking tobacco is somewhat of a mindless act and just quitting Cold Turkey without knowing what you're doing is equally as mindless.

Anonymous said...

erm ive been smoking for 13 years and a couple of weeks ago, i spontaneously stopped!!! Ive been wondering why i stopped ever since, as have tried drugs patches etc in the past.

If its not too embarrassing to say... the only thing i can say is that it was endorphine led. I stopped the day after a 6 hour er session (in bed) where i was away with the fairies on endorphines, and then next day i didnt want a cigarette, or the next day etc.

All i can think is that every endorphoine receptor in my body was already occupied! so i didnt need a cigarette, so i figure thats the way to beat the endorphine blockers of tabs, ie block it with something very effectiv! :-) this is no joke. ive been free from smoking for 2 weeks... and intend to keep it that way, with a little help from my friend! ;-)

Electronic cigarette review said...

One good method to stop smoking is Electronic Cigarette.

The e cigarette reviews guy said...

I think I have heard "diet gurus" mention that brief periods of exercise CAN in fact reduce food cravings..

But, I really wanted to second the previous comment's suggestion since I write a blog on the subject and I am passionate about it.

If all else fails when trying to quit smoking then, DON'T QUIT. Instead SWITCH to electronic cigarettes. Many people believe they are a better alternative, but you have to use your own judgment on that and it doesn't technically count as smoking cessation either.

electronic cigarette said...

Indeed the best way to quit smoking is electronic cigarette.

Logan said...

I am loving the electronic cigarette. So many are feeling the effects, speaking of weight loss, their is now ecigs to help smokers lose weight. This is pretty cool.