Smoking, something we may have tried in our younger years in a fleeting moment of rebellion, that may have stuck around for longer than we anticipated.
I don’t need to go into the LONG list of negatives that smoking causes, but I’ll name a couple of real gems to really drive it home.
Smoking causes: advanced ageing, yellow teeth, bad breath and of course, the big C (cancer FYI). Smoking is one of those habits that you know is bad for you, but is incredibly hard to kick, due to a chemical called nicotine.
Nicotine’s effects on the brain work to reduce depressions, enhance concentration and short-term memory, reduce irritability and produce a sense of well-being. With a list of side-effects such as these it is no wonder it is so addictive. It’s a shame that alongside nicotine, the tobacco in cigarettes contain about 70 cancer-causing chemicals.
I’m sure at this stage in the game and with what we know about cigarettes, it is not hard to convince people that smoking is bad for you. And it is the nicotine found in the cigarettes that makes it so darn hard to quit.
But a new study from the has found that even moderate levels of exercise not only reduce nicotine withdrawals but protect your body against nicotine dependence.
Nicotine targets a receptor in the brain called α7 nicotinic acetylcholine, this same receptor is activated when we exercise.
Exercise acts as a form of protector against the nicotine hitting this receptor, which would otherwise cause your body to exhibit physical signs of withdrawals from smoking.
If you are planning to quit smoking try doing even moderate amounts of exercise a day, like a half hour walk or a 10-minute run. The withdrawal symptoms like headaches, anxiety, insomnia and intense cravings for nicotine will be incredibly reduced and will help you fight through the withdrawal stage a lot easier giving you a higher chance of quitting smoking.
Start the year healthy in more ways than one, kick those bad habits while picking up some newer healthier ones along the way.