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Does exercise help pregnant women stop smoking?
One would think the obvious answer to that question is yes. One would surmise that exercise would help anyone stop smoking, right? After all, you're striving to do something healthy, sort of the opposite of smoking, by getting out there and running or doing yoga or whatever it is, not to mention that raising your heart rate and panting and whatnot is a little easier when you have full use of your lungs. Only problem is, smoking is touted as nearly impossible to quit--it's just that addictive.
We've been told for years and years now how bad it is for pregnant women to smoke. Children of pregnant women run the risk of a number of problems including low birth weight, asthma and increased risk of infant mortality. According to researchers, seventeen percent of British women and twenty percent of American women profess to smoke during pregnancy. Exercise is seen as a great way to assist in the cessation of the notoriously hard to kick habit and is considered a much safer option than nicotine patches, which are seen as possibly harmful to the unborn child.
In a study recently conducted in Britain, women were asked to exercise and given weekly smoking cessation counseling. Twenty-five percent of the 32 women tested were able to give up smoking before they gave birth. It has been suggested that the physical activity alleviated cravings. A new study by the same researchers will focus on a group of 850 women in an effort to uncover more data.