Thursday, June 12, 2008

More research planned into whether exercise can help prevent addiction

Associated Press - June 9, 2008 10:33 PM ET

WASHINGTON (AP) - Studies in both humans and animals suggest that exercise may help prevent drug or alcohol addiction.

The government is pumping more money into research to find out.

The underlying question is whether regular physical activity spurs changes in the brain involving neurochemicals that sense and reinforce pleasure. In a Brown University study, women in a smoking-cessation program were twice as likely to kick the habit if they also exercised three times a week. They also gained only half as much weight.

Similar results were found in a study of teens and tweens. Those who said they exercise daily were half as likely to smoke, and 40% less likely to experiment with marijuana.

The possible connection between exercise and less addiction becomes important as kids become more sedentary.

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