Still working on that New Year's resolution to quit smoking? You may want to consider adopting an exercise goal to strengthen your efforts. Research presented today at the World Congress of Cardiology meeting in Dubai shows that moderate daily activity can help smokers' kick the nicotine habit for good and increase their longevity.
In the study, researchers monitored the physical health and lifestyle habits of more than 434,000 people in Taiwan for 12 years. According to a study release, findings showed smokers who exercised 15 minutes a day were 55 percent more likely to quit and 43 percent less likely to relapse than their couch potato counterparts. Results also suggest that exercising can increase smokers' life expectancy, whether or not they keep puffing away.
As little as 15 minutes of walking six days a week improves life expectancy in smokers, according to an earlier study by Wen, published last year in The Lancet.
Smokers who were active 30 minutes a day increased their life expectancy by 3.7 years. That put them on a par with ex-smokers who got low levels of exercise. The big risks they're looking at here are heart attack, stroke, and cancer.
And ex-smokers were able to counteract the long-term ill effects of smoking with exercise, too x-smokers who exercised 30 minutes a day were able to increase their life expectancy by 5.6 years, on average, and reduce the risk of death by 43 percent. That put them at the same risk level as nonsmokers who were inactive.
Previously: National Cancer Institute introduces free text message cessation service for teens, Kicking the smoking habit for good and Can daily texts help smokers kick their nicotine addiction?
Photo by Ryan Dwyer