Washington: Smokers who regularly lift weights are twice as likely to quit smoking, according to a new study.
According to the findings by researchers from The Miriam Hospital``s Centers for Behavioral and Preventive Medicine, male and female smokers who completed a 12-week resistance training regimen as part of a standard smoking cessation treatment program were twice as likely to successfully quit compared to those who did not regularly lift weights.
In their pilot study, said lead author Joseph Ciccolo, Ph.D., an exercise psychologist and colleagues enrolled 25 male and female smokers between the ages of 18 and 65 who reported smoking at least five cigarettes a day for the past year or more. All participants received a 15-20 minute smoking cessation counseling session as well as an 8-week supply of the nicotine patch before being randomized into two groups.
The resistance training group engaged in two, 60-minute training sessions per week for 12 weeks. The full-body routine involved 10 exercises, with researchers gradually increasing weight and intensity every three weeks. Participants in the control group watched a brief health and wellness video twice a week.
At the end of the 12 weeks, 16 percent of smokers in the resistance training group had not only quit smoking, but they also decreased their body weight and body fat. In comparison, 8 percent of individuals in the control group had quit smoking, yet they increased their body weight and fat.
And the effects appear to be long-lasting: three months after the study was completed, 15 percent of those in the resistance training group had successfully maintained their quit attempt compared to 8 percent of the control group.
The study has been published online by the journal Nicotine and Tobacco Research.