JOURNAL ARTICLE
RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIAL

Acute effects of aerobic exercise and Hatha yoga on craving to smoke

Andrea Elibero, Kate Janse Van Rensburg, David J Drobes
Nicotine & Tobacco Research 2011, 13 (11): 1140-8
21849414

INTRODUCTION: Recent studies have examined the effects of physical activity on craving to smoke and smoking withdrawal. The current study was designed to compare and contrast the effects of 2 different forms of physical activity on general and cue-elicited craving to smoke.

METHODS: Following 1-hr nicotine abstinence, 76 daily smokers were randomly assigned to engage in a 30-min bout of cardiovascular exercise (CE; brisk walk on a treadmill), Hatha yoga (HY), or a nonactivity control condition. Participants completed measures of craving and mood, and a smoking cue reactivity assessment, before, immediately following, and approximately 20 min after the physical activity or control conditions.

RESULTS: Compared with the control condition, participants in each of the physical activity groups reported a decrease in craving to smoke, an increase in positive affect, and a decrease in negative affect. In addition, craving in response to smoking cues was specifically reduced among those who engaged in CE, whereas those who engaged in HY reported a general decrease in cravings.

CONCLUSIONS: This study provides further support for the use of exercise bouts for attenuating cigarette cravings during temporary nicotine abstinence. Results also suggest that CE can attenuate cravings in response to smoking cues. There are several areas for further research that may improve integration of exercise within smoking cessation treatment.

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