The Benefits of Exercise for Smoking Teens

If you have just recently found out that your teen has started smoking, chances are they are doing it because of the company they hang out with. 80% of smokers took their first puff when sitting with another smoker. Talking to them or lecturing them on the smoking health risks for teens might not work as effectively as you would want, since they are getting equal reinforcement to continue smoking from their friends. So what would be the best way for a parent to help a teen quit smoking?

The answer is simple! Get their blood pumping. The anti-smoking treatment almost every expert in the world is raving about and numerous researches are proving to be most effective is: Intense Physical Activity.

The latest proof of exercise and smoking cessation theory is the research funded by the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention, led by researcher Kimberly Horn, EdD, of the West Virginia University Community Medicine on almost 233 students, between the ages of 14 – 19.

These students were distributed into three main groups,

The N-O-T group: who received behavior modification therapy.

The N-O-T plus the Quit & Fit (N-O-T+FIT) group: a physically active set of participants, who were made to record the extent of their physical activity in a log as well as count their every step with the help of pedometers.

The No Intervention Brief Advice group: these participants were given 10-15 minute lectures on smoking, youth tobacco cessation and supporting material.

The results proved that of all the three groups, the male participants in the N-O-T+FIT group proved to be more successful in quitting smoking and staying off it in the long run, while female participants from the standard N-O-T program performed better than those in the last group. In the end it was reveled that, teens from all three groups were more successful at quitting smoking if they were made to increase their physical activity. A 20 minutes exercise session decreased their daily urge for nicotine dramatically as compared to those who exercised less. However, those who enrolled in N-O-T+FIT had a greater success rate than all others.

Another study published in the Oxford journal Nicotine & Tobacco Research showed similar results through a study conducted on 25 male and female smokers. These smokers had been smoking for the past 19 years or more. As part of the study they were given smoking cessation counseling session as well as nicotine patches. Lastly, some were sent to a resistance training session group while others to a “contact control” group.

As always, the exercise group was twice as successful in giving up smoking as the control group. After a six month reassessment, 38% of the exercise group had been able to stay off smoking for prolonged periods, while the control group only showed 8% to 17% of prolonged abstinence.

So in the light of such substantial evidence, it is highly recommended that you push you smoking teen out the door and into a gym or the school’s sports field. This way they will not only acquire a completely new set of friends but give up smoking as well.

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