A new study has revealed that just a little bit of exercise can reduce a person’s cravings for a cigarette.
Scientists from Innsbruck in Austria have made the revelation just in time for people to rush into the gym in the New Year to shave off any weight gain brought on by Christmas.
The University of Innsbruck made the revelation on 27th December, saying: “Good news for everyone who wants to quit smoking in the new year: Innsbruck scientists show that 10-minute quick walking sessions reduce the addictive pressure of temporarily abstinent smokers and improve their overall well-being.
“The recently published study is the first to compare the effect of indoor and outdoor activity on smoking cessation.”
The University also said: “Smoking is one of the leading preventable causes of illness and death worldwide. According to the World Health Organization (WHO). Global tobacco consumption is continuously declining, but in 2020 around 20 per cent of those over 15 years of age still smoked.
“Anyone who has good resolutions for the New Year and wants to give up smoking can benefit from the results of a study carried out at the Institute of Sports Science. Even 10-minute exercise sessions in the fresh air. But also indoors, reduced the participants’ cravings and alleviated withdrawal symptoms.”
Lead author Stefanie Schoettl, a doctoral student at the Institute for Sports Science at the University of Innsbruck, said: “There are a few studies on the effect of indoor exercise units on temporarily abstinent smokers. Ours is the first that also includes outdoor activity.”
The university explained: “For the study, three different interventions were carried out with 16 smokers who were smoke-free overnight. In a random order, the participants completed ten-minute quick walking sessions outdoors. Corresponding exercise sessions on the indoor treadmill or remained sitting for ten minutes.”
One of the study’s co-authors, Martin Kopp, university professor of sports psychology, said: “We randomised all participants to all conditions with corresponding treatment-free phases in order to be able to rule out individual preferences.”
The results showed that going for a brisk 10-minute walk reduces the craving for a cigarette, with the University saying: “The addictive desire decreased in both the indoor and outdoor groups throughout the entire exercise session. While it remained unchanged in the control group. The same applies to withdrawal symptoms and general well-being. After 20 minutes, no differences were measurable.
“After 10 minutes, the craving for addiction was reduced slightly more in the outdoor group than in the indoor group.”
The study was first published in the academic journal Psychopharmacology on 25th November under the title ‘Acute effects of outdoor and indoor walking on cigarette cravings, withdrawal symptoms and affective response during temporary smoking abstinence’.
It was authored by Stefanie E. Schoettl, Kathrin Insam, Anika Fruehauf, Prisca Kopp-Wilfling, Bernhard Holzner and Martin Kopp.
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