“Tobacco saps the land, saps the purse, and saps the man.”
– James Lendall Basford
The American Lung Association reports that quitting smoking often requires multiple attempts, and that success often comes through combining counseling with smoking cessation medication.
But in addition to these efforts, there’s an often overlooked but very simple secret weapon that can help you to stop smoking: regular physical exercise.
- Benefits of Exercise When You’re Quitting Smoking
The beauty of exercise is that it helps you deal with both the physical and psychological aspects of nicotine addiction:
- Exercise helps limit weight gain and it also helps in dealing with cravings for a cigarette says Norman H. Edelman, MD, senior medical advisor of the American Lung Association.
- Studies have shown that even moderate physical activity, especially aerobic exercise, reduces the urge to smoke.
- Withdrawal symptoms and cravings for cigarettes decrease during exercise and for as long as 50 minutes afterwards.
- How to Get Started With Exercise
Follow these tips to stay motivated:
- First thing first avoid smoking at least 30 min pre and post workout (slowly and gradually increase it to 2 hours)
- It often helps to set aside a regular time for exercise — find a time that works well for you.
- Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity on most days of the week.
- To perform any physical activity for 30 minutes to keep yourself engaged and active, instance, playing with children.
- Make exercise a priority, and put it on your schedule. If you can’t set aside the recommended 30 minutes, you can exercise in 10-minute sessions pre lunch and dinner.
- Be sure to choose activities that you can confidently do. Start slowly, and build up to more frequent or more intense exercise.
- It may make it easier to stick to your plans if you sign up for a TR Fitness class and arrange to exercise with our experts.
- Exercise Suggestions
You don’t have to challenge yourself with an activity like HIIT and heavy lifting on your first time out. It’s okay to take small steps:
- Walking is one way of getting more physical activity. Take a walk at lunchtime or after dinner, perhaps finding a co-worker, friend, or family member to join you. Be sure to choose companions who don’t smoke! Gradually lengthen your walks and step up the pace.
- Think about other activities that you might enjoy, like biking, swimming, yoga — just about any sports activity will help.
- Housework and gardening provide exercise benefits, too. And there’s always that garage to clean out.
- Plan family activities or social gatherings that involve physical activity like hiking, a volleyball game, or a trip to the beach.
- Sticking With Your Exercise Program
Quitting smoking is difficult, but your doctor can help you make a plan. Ask them for advice. There are a variety of non-prescription and prescription medications that can help you quit. There are both short and long-term benefits to quitting smoking. You can even consult us, our experts would love helping and advising you. Since smoking affects every body system, finding a way to quit is the most important step you can take to living a longer and happier life. Remember tobacco saps the land, saps the purse, and saps the man.
Each person’s journey is different. Each success brings with it a new difficulty, and each milestone you reach — one week without lighting up, one month, one year — brings untold joy to you and your family. In the end, the decision to quit should be yours, but the journey does not have to be taken alone.