Researchers at the University of Texas in the US have shown that exercise can help smokers ‘kick the habit’. Moreover, the publication reported that exercise can be of value for helping those smokers who have the additional issue of high anxiety sensitivity e.g. racing heart, sweating, dizziness etc. The complementary medicine research study published in Psychosomatic Medicine stated that between 20 to 33 percent of smokers have high-anxiety sensitivity.

Lead author of the 15- week intervention study, Professor Jasper Smits, commented, “Anxiety and depressive symptoms and syndromes are the most prevalent psychiatric conditions in the general population and are remarkably comorbid with smoking,” “Those with high-anxiety sensitivity experience greater problems with nicotine withdrawal, which is a strong predictor of lapse and subsequent relapse.”

Smits’ research concluded that exercise can reduce anxiety sensitivity and depressive symptoms, thus doubling the chances of smoking cessation for these adults.

Exercise, is a popular Integrative Medicine resource that is prescribed by Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) practitioners for those clients who want to quit smoking. As smoking leads to numerous severe health disorders, integrative healthcare solution for the ‘quit smoking’ clients should incorporate Professor Smit’s research findings of:

  • 25-minutes of vigorous exercise (77 to 88 percent of maximum heart rate)
  • Wellness education sessions
  • Healthy life-style discussions and:
  • Weekly wellness goals.