Another reason to take a stroll

November 19, 2008 at 1:59 am Leave a comment

Got chocolate cravings you don’t want to give in to?  Walk ‘em off.

A new study suggests that a taking a brief walk at a brisk clip can curb your desire for cocoa.  Comprised of 25 regular chocolate eaters, the study group resisted their favorite nosh for three days, taking a walk or resting when the cravings hit.  The results?

“The walkers reported lower cravings both during the walk and for about 10 minutes afterward. They were also less likely to be tempted by unwrapping the candy bar.”

Research had already shown that exercise can reduce nicotine cravings, but this study is apparently the first to show its effect on food cravings.

“Our ongoing work consistently shows that brief bouts of physical activity reduce cigarette cravings, but this is the first study to link exercise to reduced chocolate cravings,” said study team member Adrian Taylor. “Neuroscientists have suggested common processes in the reward centers of the brain between drug and food addictions, and it may be that exercise effects brain chemicals that help to regulate mood and cravings.”

The key seems to be the mood-modifying benefits of exercise.  Moving our bodies releases endorphins.  Endorphins are powerful hormone-like substances produced in the brain.  They can produce feelings of euphoria and a general state of well being.  Thankfully, it doesn’t take hardcore boot camp to reap the benefits.  Moderate amounts of exercise deliver the goods, and if you’re a workout newbie, you may actually experience a particularly strong effect.

So, the next time I am about to succumb to the siren song of the wrapper – whether it’s a ZBar or a candy bar – I’m going to walk around the block first.

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Entry filed under: burn more calories, coping strategies, news around the blogosphere, science, tips & techniques.

How scary! Spacey Fitness

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