Another great benefit to exercising “Exercise helps smokers with a high risk for cessation failure due to emotional distress finally kick the habit, according to psychologists at The University of Texas at Austin.
According to a study in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine, between 20 and 33 percent of smokers are considered to have high-anxiety sensitivity — or fear of anxiety and related sensations such as a racing heart, sweating or dizziness — and smoke to cope with stress, making it harder to quit.
“Anxiety and depressive symptoms and syndromes are the most prevalent psychiatric conditions in the general population and are remarkably comorbid with smoking,” said psychology professor Jasper Smits, lead author of the study. “Those with high-anxiety sensitivity experience greater problems with nicotine withdrawal, which is a strong predictor of lapse and subsequent relapse.”
Smits’ research, however, suggests that exercise can reduce anxiety sensitivity and depressive symptoms, doubling the chances of cessation for these adults.
Participants were daily smokers who were screened for anxiety sensitivity and randomly assigned to a 15-week intervention that included thrice weekly exercise (72 individuals) or wellness education (64 individuals) sessions in combination with cognitive behavioral therapy and optional nicotine replacement therapy patches.”
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