Exercise Minimizes Weight Gain in Smokers Who Quit

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The fear of gaining weight is a common concern for many people who want to quit smoking, and that concern may be highest in postmenopausal women. Data involving smokers from the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) suggest that even small increases in physical activity can diminish weight gain in older women who quit smoking. (WHI is a long-term national study designed to develop new strategies for preventing health problems like heart disease, breast and colorectal cancer, and fractures related to osteoporosis in postmenopausal women.)

This study involved 4,700 women who smoked at baseline. After three years, study participants who had quit smoking gained an average of 7.7 pounds more than women who continued to smoke. But those who increased their physical activity levels gained an average of just 5.6 pounds in three years.

According to the researchers, postmenopausal women who quit smoking and engaged in at least 150 minutes of moderate activity per week – less than 30 minutes per day – achieved the best results in limiting weight gain.

Sourced from: Menopause