Avoiding Cigarette Smoking Through Exercise

Exercise is known to improve overall health, but did you know that it can also ease those smoking cravings you experience when attempting to quit the vice? According to a report from Huffington Post, hopping onto the treadmill can help with the chain-smoker’s temptation of lighting a cigarette.

Reuters Health revealed that exercising has been tried and tested in its efficacy in temporarily easing cigarette cravings that usually overtakes their will to stop the vice.

“Certainly, exercise seems to have temporary benefits, and as such can be strongly recommended,” exercise and health psychology Professor Adrian A. Taylor of UK’s University of Exeter explained to the outlet. Among the most notable effects of exercise in chain smokers are:

  • Minimizing withdrawal from nicotine
  • Diminishing stress levels caused by the withdrawal
  • Enhances body awareness
  • Improves one’s mood and elevates self-esteem
  • Acting as a great distraction from the habit you are trying to avoid

Aside from that, exercising is also known to improve the quality of sleep, promote weight-loss and increase stamina, not to mention tone one’s muscles for that more appealing look.

Some of the most common exercises that are deemed to be effective in easing smoking cravings include cardiovascular workouts like jogging, brisk walking, biking and swimming. You can also try engaging in active sports like tennis, basketball, soccer and the like.

According to QuitSmokingSupport.com, around 20 to 30 minutes of these exercises at least three times a week should be enough for a chain smoker to be able to satiate his cravings for the addictive vice.

Everyday Health also listed a couple of effective tips when trying out exercise to ease your nicotine cravings:

  1. Find a time that works well for you. Many people consider exercise as a taxing, not to mention exhausting work. Because of this, people often make up excuses not to engage in this activity especially their hectic schedule. To avoid this, you should set a specific time that is neither allotted for work nor for rest and dedicate it just for the activity. This should also be a way to make you consider exercising as a priority in your daily or weekly schedule.
  2. Choose your exercise wisely. If you’re a newbie, make sure you choose exercises that are easy and uncomplicated like jogging or walking. You can set aside the more elaborate exercises such as kickboxing or swimming for when you are already used to the activity.
  3. Sign up for class or join a friend. Exercising can be more fun and less boring when you’re not alone. Doing this would not only compel you to do the activity but would also make you see its benefits aside from the more obvious health ones.
  4. Set a goal. Exercise activities like swimming, sports, jogging or even cycling are great examples of physical activity where one can find immense motivation. This is because such activities usually have tournaments or competitions that give rewards. Aside from that, exercises that involve joining teams can also give you enough reason to participate because of peers and friends you acquire from doing so.

While full-blown workouts can take time and plenty of planning, there are still exercises that you can do immediately after you feel the urge to light up a cigarette. Among these are:

  • Do deep knee-bends
  • Sit down on a comfortable chair and alternate between relaxing and tensing your body, particularly in your core muscles
  • Go up and down a couple of stair flights
  • Do some push-ups in a free and private space. You can also do standing push-ups against the wall if you lack the necessary space for the activity.
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