Kick the butt by kicking butt through exercise.
Being physically active is important for everyone, but it can be especially useful for people who have quit smoking. That’s because people who exercise are less likely to smoke than those who don’t. Here’s how exercise helps gives 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 staying active can help you stay quit, here are some tips to get movin’!
- Make exercise a priority and dedicate some time each week to it. Here’s what the American Heart Association recommends:
- At least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity at least 5 days per week for a total of 150 minutes
- At least 25 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity at least 3 days per week for a total of 75 minutes; 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 isn’t for you, do something else that you’ll enjoy! Dance classes, yard work, long walks, biking, swimming, even housework all get your heart rate up.
- Find a workout buddy. The social support can help motivate you when you’d rather be at home watching Netflix instead.
- Plan trips 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, doing 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.
- Explore Move It Monday! Visit the website to find some exercise inspiration and activities you can do.
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.
How do you exercise? Let us know on Twitter!