It’s no secret that staying active is good for you, but did you know that exercise—even moderate exercise—might just help you quit smoking? In a study published recently in the journal Psychopharmacology, researchers at the University of Exeter in England found that physical exercise generates changes in brain activity that may help reduce nicotine cravings.
Results of the study revealed that after no exercise, participants experienced heightened activity in the areas of the brain linked to reward processing and visual attention, but that after only 10 minutes of moderate cycling the same brain activity was not observed. Further, participants reported fewer nicotine cravings after exercise. This may be because exercise increases dopamine levels in the body, which in turn elevates mood and may make smokers less likely to feel as though they want or need a cigarette. Exercise also reroutes the flow of blood in the brain to areas less associated with pleasure and reward.
In addition to regular exercise, herbal cleansing may provide the added boost smokers need to reduce cravings and cut back on cigarettes. Look for a natural cleansing formula made with ingredients like wasabi, pine bark extract, and N-acetyl-cysteine (an amino acid) to help absorb and eliminate harmful toxins from the lungs and body, together with fenugreek seed and mullein leaf to promote healthy lung and respiratory function.