Ready to stop smoking once and for all? Then drop the cigarette and pick up a dumbbell. New research published online by the journal Nicotine & Tobacco Research found that male and female smokers who completed a 12-week weight-lifting routine along with smoking-cessation treatment were twice as likely than those who did not regularly lift weights to successfully quit smoking. While other researchers have looked at the role of aerobic exercise in helping smokers kick the bad habit, this is the first study that has looked at weight training specifically.
Those smokers in the resistance-training group performed 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. By the end of the 12 weeks, 16 percent of weight-lifting smokers had not only quit smoking, but they had also decreased their body weight and body fat. In comparison, 8 percent of people in the group who were not lifting weights had quit smoking, yet they had gained weight and body fat.
The results weren't just in the short-term either. Three months after the study was completed, 15 percent of those in the weight-lifting group were still not smoking. Only eight percent of the other group could say the same.
While more research is needed, it seems that when it comes to quitting smoking, resistance training can certainly help. And, if nothing else, it definitely makes you stronger. It also helps defy that stereotype that quitting smoking makes you gain weight!
Jennipher Walters is the CEO and co-founder of the healthy living websites FitBottomedGirls.com and FitBottomedMamas.com. A certified personal trainer, lifestyle and weight management coach and group exercise instructor, she also holds an MA in health journalism and regularly writes about all things fitness and wellness for various online publications.