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Craving a smoke? Break a sweat instead

Thursday - 9/6/2012, 12:13pm  ET

Kristi King, wtop.com

WASHINGTON - Smokers who want to kick the habit might have better luck if actual kicking is part of their routine.

Breaking a sweat can help kill nicotine cravings, according to a report published in Addiction Journal that evaluates findings from 19 previous studies.

Those studies involved people trying to quit smoking without the use of medications.

The conclusion: People who exercise by riding a bike or taking a brisk walk report a decreased desire to smoke after physical activity.

The study's lead author tells Men's Health that the exercise might work as a distraction. Also, breaking a sweat can boost your mood and increase feelings of self-control.

Another recent study published in Addiction shows that smokers trying to quit have a much higher success rate after six months when using medications such as nicotine patches.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)