We all know about the myriad benefits of exercise, from helping us lose weight to lowering our blood pressure. A recent study in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine finds that it also helps adults with high-anxiety sensitivity -- or fear of anxiety and related sensations like sweating, dizziness, or a racing heart -- quit smoking. By reducing anxiety sensitivity and depressive symptoms, exercise makes it twice as likely that these individuals will kick their smoking habit.
I always encourage my friends and loved ones to exercise -- and with good reason. The benefits go way beyond the physical. When I go to the gym, put on my headphones, and blast the music while on the treadmill or elliptical, I feel fantastic. Not only does it melt away my worries, but it puts me in a good mood -- and I feel more energized (not less so, as contradictory as that may seem) once I get home.
If you're not big on exercising, I recommend that you put in at least a couple of hours a week. (I aim to hit the gym 2-3 times every week.) Take it from me -- your health will thank you for it!