When you have become aware the reasons why you want to stop smoking and have decided the quit date, next you start making the list of all the things that will help you stay away from cigarettes. Exercise, social support and food/ diet play are the 3 most important things to consider now. Here is how physical activity and workouts help give you a better shot at fighting nicotine addiction:
- Suppresses cravings, making the urge to smoke less.
- Distracts you from cravings.
- Creates a habit of doing some healthy and good for yourself (so why ruin that with cigarettes?)
- Eases withdrawal symptoms from nicotine.
- Improves your overall mood, re-energizes you, and helps you cope with stress.
- Keeps potential post-quit weight off by decreasing your appetite and jump starting your metabolism.
Now that you know how exercise can help you stay quit, here are some tips to get moving in that direction: Make exercise a priority and dedicate some time each week to it :
- At least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity at least 4-5 days per week
- At least 25 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity at least 3 days per week or a combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity aerobic activity
- Start slowly and work your way up to making physical activity a habit. Start off getting some action a few times a week and increase the length, number, and intensity of workouts over time.
If running or hitting the gym is not what you prefer, do something else that you’ll enjoy! Dance classes, gardening, long walks, biking, swimming, even housework all get your heart rate up.
Find a workout friend. The social support can help motivate you when you’d rather be at home watching Netflix instead.
Plan trips/ days that involve being active. You can be social and exercise, all while having a great time! Go kayaking, hiking, surfing, or spend long strolls through a new city.
Exercise at work. Try chair yoga, climbing some flights of stairs, a wall squat, or enlisting some colleagues to do push-ups with you!
Change up your routine. Exercise can be boring sometimes, so try some different activities to keep you engaged and motivated.
Yoga at home: Yoga also helps you distress and become calm. You don’t have to be a marathon runner or an Olympic athlete to exercise, and you don’t have to have some special power to quit smoking. It just takes effort and dedication and soon you’ll find your quit becoming easier and easier.
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