Background: Smoking and physical inactivity are major risk factors for heart disease. Linking strategies that promote improvements in fitness and assist quitting smoking has potential to address both these risk factors simultaneously. The objective of this study is to compare the effects of two exercise interventions (high intensity interval training (HIIT) and lifestyle physical activity) on smoking cessation in female smokers.
Method/design: This study will use a randomised controlled trial design.
Participants: Women aged 18-55 years who smoke ≥ 5 cigarettes/day, and want to quit smoking. Intervention: all participants will receive usual care for quitting smoking. Group 1 - will complete two gym-based supervised HIIT sessions/week and one home-based HIIT session/week. At each training session participants will be asked to complete four 4-min (4 × 4 min) intervals at approximately 90 % of maximum heart rate interspersed with 3- min recovery periods. Group 2 - participants will receive a resource pack and pedometer, and will be asked to use the 10,000 steps log book to record steps and other physical activities. The aim will be to increase daily steps to 10,000 steps/day. Analysis will be intention to treat and measures will include smoking cessation, withdrawal and cravings, fitness, physical activity, and well-being.
Discussion: The study builds on previous research suggesting that exercise intensity may influence the efficacy of exercise as a smoking cessation intervention. The hypothesis is that HIIT will improve fitness and assist women to quit smoking. Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry: ACTRN12614001255673 (Registration date 02/12/2014)