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Smoking Weed Can Motivate You To Exercise, Colorado Study Finds

BOULDER, Colo. (CBS4) - Mixing marijuana with your workouts could be beneficial, according to a new study. Health experts say smoking pot could actually motivate someone to get to the gym.

marijuana and exercise
People run on treadmills at a New York Sports Club January 2, 2003 in Brooklyn, New York. Thousands of people around the country join health clubs in the first week of the new year as part of their New Year\'s resolution. Many health clubs see a surge in business of 25 percent immediately after the new year, only to see those numbers level off by spring. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

"Eight out of 10 marijuana users in states where cannabis is legal say they partake in the drug shortly before or after exercise, and most report that it motivates them to work out, helps them enjoy exercise more and improves their recovery," researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder stated.

Researchers in Colorado surveyed more than 600 people in five states where the drug has been legalized for recreational use. More than 80 percent of cannabis users surveyed said they partake shortly before or after exercise.

They found those who smoked either before or after hitting the gym, or even both, said they worked out more.

"Notably, those who [use cannabis with exercise] also got about 43 minutes more exercise per week than those who didn't," researchers stated.

Seventy percent said it increased enjoyment of exercise, 78 percent said it boosted recovery, and 52 percent said it heightened motivation.

Nearly 40 percent said it improved performance, but researchers not that some small previous studies have suggested it may harm performance. They also note the World Anti-Doping Agency prohibits cannabis use in sporting competitions due to its potential to improve performance.

Some people who use cannabis with exercise also said it helped with recovery from minor aches and pains.

"Cannabis dampens pain perception and binds to the same receptors in the brain that are activated naturally during the 'runner's high.' It also has anti-inflammatory properties," researchers stated.

The research paper, published Tuesday in the journal Frontiers in Public Health, is among the first to explore the complicated intersection between cannabis use and physical activity.



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