In the News: Exercise Can Help You Quit Smoking, Marijuana Use Increasing in Pregnant Women, Fish Consumption Linked to Improved Sleep and Increased IQ

Exercise can help you quit smoking. Looking for another reason to start exercising this year? Research has shown that it may help smokers break their addictions. Dr. Bailey, a senior lecturer at St George’s, University of London, and his team tracked nicotine addiction and exercise and found in mice, having one group exercise in a wheel twenty-four hours a day, while another group worked out for two hours a day, and the last group didn’t exercise at all. After two weeks they found that the mice that exercised two to twenty-four hours a day showed a large drop in withdrawal symptoms compared to the group not exercising at all. While the exact mechanisms involved are still not clear, experts are looking into the how exercise reduces nicotine withdrawal symptoms as a possible explanation. Luckily, even a speedy 10-minute workout can suffice in terms of knocking out tobacco cravings. Learn more about quitting smoking with this handy fact sheet. (T)

Marijuana use increasing in pregnant women. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), marijuana use during pregnancy is on the rise. Researchers analyzed data from nearly 300,000 pregnant patients at a Northern California health care system over the course of seven years (2009-2016) and found that marijuana use in pregnant mothers under 18 increased from 12.5 percent to 21.8 percent. For pregnant mothers who were 18-24 years old, marijuana use increased from 9.8 to 19 percent, for women between 25-34, the rate of usage jumped from 3.4 to 5.1 percent, and for women over 34 years old the usage went up from 2.1 to 3.3 percent. These findings indicate that there was an increase across the board, among all the age groups, and some experts believe usage will continue to go up as marijuana becomes legalized in more states. (ABC)

Fish consumption linked to improved sleep and IQ. According to a new study out of the University of Pennsylvania, children who eat fish weekly have an improved quality of sleep and score around four points higher on IQ tests, as compared to those who only rarely eat fish or not at all. The key factor seems to be omega-3s, which are fatty acids found in various types of fish. Researchers studied 541 boys and girls in China, who ranged in age from 9-11 years old. After studying their sleep patterns and IQ results, the team found that children who stated they ate fish weekly scored 4.8 points than those who rarely or never ate fish, and those who ate fish sometimes, scored 3.3 points higher. An increase in fish consumption was also linked to fewer sleep disturbances as well. Want to learn more about the benefits of eating certain types of fish? Watch this clip to find out. (SD)