Quitting Smoking? Even a Little Exercise Can Help You Stay Slim

Quitting Smoking? Even a Little Exercise Can Help You Stay Slim

Fear of weight gain can keep many smokers from kicking the habit.

But a new study involving older women might help change that: It found that for those who quit, even a bit of exercise helped keep the pounds at bay.

"Being active after quitting smoking was found to reduce weight gain, regardless of the amount of physical activity before quitting," Dr. JoAnn Pinkerton, executive director of the North American Menopause Society, said in a society news release.

She pointed to the new study, which involved more than 4,700 postmenopausal female smokers who were tracked for three years.

Not surprisingly, those who quit during that time gained an average of 7.7 pounds more than those who continued smoking.

But weight gain was lowest (5.6 pounds) among quitters who also upped their levels of physical activity. What's more, the benefit of exercise in this context was even stronger for ex-smokers who'd been obese than for those of normal weight, the researchers said.

The research was led by Juhua Luo of Indiana University's School of Public Health. Her team also found that when quitters moved to healthier eating plus exercise, they gained only slightly more weight over the study period than women who had continued to smoke.

And any amount of exercise seemed to help.

"Although the best results in limiting weight gain after quitting smoking were found in women who engaged in 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity per week, benefit was also found in less intense activity, such as walking 90 minutes per week at 3 miles an hour," said Pinkerton.

So, she said, there's real "hope for those deciding to quit smoking -- exercise more and watch food intake to limit weight gain."

The study was published online July 11 in NAMS' journal Menopause.

More information

Need more tips on quitting smoking without weight gain? Head to the American Heart Association.


Related Content

Personality Disorders & Relationships: Unravel the Mystery. Rediscover Success.
Personality Disorders & Relationships: Unravel the Mystery. Rediscover Success.

Personality disorders affect someone's ability to relate to others. Almost 15 pe...

Read more
The Stress - Depression Connection, Explained
The Stress - Depression Connection, Explained

The brain is incredibly complex. But we may now be one step closer on to underst...

Read more
Menstruation Symptoms May Worsen for Women with Borderline Personality Disorder
Menstruation Symptoms May Worsen for Women with Borderline Personality Disorder

Women with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) tend to experience more severe ...

Read more
How the Stigma of Bipolar Disorder Motivated This Man to Improve Mental Health Care
How the Stigma of Bipolar Disorder Motivated This Man to Improve Mental Health Care

Even when money and access aren’t an issue - there is another, less-concrete roa...

Read more
What Do We Really Know About Treating Anxiety With Cannabis?
What Do We Really Know About Treating Anxiety With Cannabis?

Can cannabis help treat your anxiety? I’m Kyle Kittleson. This is MedCircle News...

Read more
PTSD from Mass Shootings & the 3 Phases of Healing That Have Proven to Be Most Helpful
PTSD from Mass Shootings & the 3 Phases of Healing That Have Proven to Be Most Helpful

The trauma of mass shootings is unlike any other, but there are specific types o...

Read more