Smoking Cessation And Exercise

A good way to aid smoking cessation it through exercise. Learn more...

Many programs exist to help people stop smoking. I have tried several popular programs including nicotine gum, the patch, and hypnosis. All have been costly and at best temporary solutions. At the heart of the problem is the psychological withdrawal from cigarettes. The craving for a cigarette on those dull afternoons, or when you are hanging out at your favorite bistro. Most people enjoy smoking until it becomes a health problem, and then they have to quit. Quitting is a battle of will power verses the satisfaction of nicotine. Exercise can give you the strength to win the battle, and a new program is being developed to help people quit smoking through exercise. This article will provide a general outline of the Exercise to Quit Smoking program, and is designed to help people get started in it.

Exercise provides you with a great alternative to smoking. Instead of lighting one up you can work out. If you are in shape you will have more of a reason not to do anything unhealthy like smoking. Think of it as replacing your bad habit with a good habit. Exercise will help to rid your body of the toxins of cigarette use. It may hurt at first (two weeks of moderate discomfort is normal at the start of any exercise regimen), but soon your body will be thanking you. You will have more energy, more strength, and feel better physically and mentally. Most people notice a gain in weight after they quit cigarettes, but if you exercise regularly you are more likely to loose weight than gain it, which in my opinion is a great bonus.

There are some important steps you can take to exercise to quit smoking. The first step is a total life style change. If you smoke chances are you may engage in some other unhealthy practices. In order to begin exercising you will need to adjust your diet and eat healthy. Make sure that you eat a wide variety of foods, not just fast food or single course restaurant meals. Pay close attention to your protein and carbohydrate intake. Try avoiding places where people smoke, because this will only encourage you to smoke too. Avoid activities that you associate with smoking. This may be hard to do, but it is one of the biggest psychological hurdles that an ex-smoker must jump.



The second step is to work on your flexibility. If you have been relatively inactive for a long period of time you will need to limber up before exercising begins in earnest. Remember the stretches that you used to do in PE well try doing them now. If your memory is a bit shady look into a book specifically on stretches you can do. Once you begin to stretch do it in a way that will work on every muscle group involved in your preferred exercise activity. Make sure you stretch slowly, because hard, sharp, motions can tear or damage your muscles. One good way to gain flexibility is yoga, many places offer free classes for beginners, and a tremendous amount of literature has been written on the subject. The meditation aspect of yoga is also helpful for smokers. Try chanting, "I will not smoke," as your mantra.

Now that you are all stretched out you are ready to begin exercising. The best exercise activity is running or jogging. It is a strenuous cardiovascular work out guaranteed to make your heart and lungs better than they were before. However, running is not the only aerobic exercise out there. There exist a wide variety of home exercise products designed to give a cardiovascular work out. Most people tend to discontinue use of their rowing machines, or stair climbers, and it may be more beneficial to join a health club and use their equipment instead of investing in something you may stop using. A health club is also a good place to meet new people and distance yourself from your life as a smoker. Other cardiovascular exercises include: swimming, aerobics, bicycling, and speed walking. This sort of exercise is the best way to become healthy, because they promote heart and lung development, and strengthen more than one major muscle group.

The final step to exercising to quit smoking is strength training. We are not only talking about working a specific muscle group through weight lifting. You are developing the strength to resist cigarettes. All good gyms have weight rooms where you can go and lift till your muscles burn. Most even have personal trainers to give you some good weight lifting tips, and develop a personal regimen. It is possible though to do this at home. Look into a good dumbbell or weight set, and try doing a set of simple repetitions everyday. Maybe even bring it to the office and do a quick repetition in that dull part of the afternoon, when you used to take a smoke break. You won't even work up a sweat, but you will be positively reinforcing your psychological desire to quit, and engaging in a healthy alternative to smoking.

Pain is a normal part of the human condition. Exercise can and will hurt you, but after a short amount of time the pain will go away and you will be healthier than you were before. As I said earlier exercise will increase your energy, and make you feel better physically and mentally. Cigarettes, on the other hand, are just the opposite of exercise. They will sap your strength, corrupt your body, and lead to an early death through lung or heart disease. Sure they are pleasurable, but at what cost? So think about making a change for the better and exercise to quit smoking.

Check with your doctor to see if this program is right for you.

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