Clean, Jerk and Quit Smoking

Resistance training can help with smoking cessation

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Have you tried time and time again to quit smoking, but nothing seems to cut it? Resistance training might just do the trick - tone your body while stopping bad smoking habits.

Too many people are dying from smoking cigarettes and it's time to figure out an effective way to end it. Some researchers suggest weight lifting is the key to stopping smoking habits. The side effects are weight loss and increased muscles so what's to lose.

"Pump some iron to stop cigarette cravings."

Joseph Ciccolo, Ph.D., an exercise psychologist, researcher and physiologist with The Miriam Hospital's Centers for Behavioral and Preventative Medicine, and team found that participants who regularly lifted weights were twice as likely to quit smoking than those who did not.

Participants also had less negative symptoms like cigarette cravings, withdrawal symptoms and weight gain. In fact, participants who lifted weights were more likely to decrease overall body weight and fat.

Diane Shiao, P.T., M.S.P.T., D.P.T. says, "I can see how people who are trying to quit smoking can benefit from working out and weight lifting. Smokers can shift their focus onto another habit, a healthier habit. Exercising such as weight lifting can be addicting just as smoking can be addicting especially for people with an addictive personality. Also, both exercise and smoking have been deemed as stress relievers. A smoker can swap one stress reliever for another. "

The study included 25 male and female smokers between the ages of 18 and 65. They reported smoking at least five cigarettes a day for the past year.

For the study, participants received smoking cessation counseling and eight weeks of nicotine patches before they were split into two groups - the exercise group and the control. The exercise group performed ten full-body routines two times a week for 60 minutes. The control group only received a health and wellness video twice a week. The study lasted for twelve weeks.

Dr. Ciccolo says more research is needed before resistance training is used as a clinical treatment for smoking cessation, but the results are definitely promising.

The research is published in Nicotine & Tobacco Research.

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
August 9, 2011
Last Updated:
September 1, 2011