A short session of moderate exercise, lasting as little as five minutes, could help people quit smoking, researchers say. Tobacco smoking is a major contributing factor towards many health problems, including lung cancer and cardiovascular disease.
"People who struggle to give up smoking can make things much easier for themselves by taking short bouts of light exercise such as strolling," reported health portal Medical News Today.
Adrian Taylor of the University of Exeter's School of Sport and Health Sciences in Britain and other researchers reviewed 12 studies on the effect of a single session of exercise compared to no exercise on three outcome measures: cigarette cravings, withdrawal symptoms and smoking behaviour.
All reported beneficial impacts on at least one of the three outcome measures. Most studies on withdrawal symptoms showed a significant reduction in two of six symptoms: stress, restlessness, irritability, anxiety, tension and poor concentration.
Most studies showed reductions in cravings and withdrawal symptoms with increase in duration and intensity of exercise, but even a short five-minute seated exercise showed beneficial effects.