Does Exercise Help When Giving Up Smoking?

Does Exercise Help When Giving Up Smoking?

in Fitness by
Does Exercise Help When Giving Up Smoking?
By: Andrew MagillCC BY 2.0

Many smokers avoid exercise completely, finding that it is difficult due to the stresses smoking places on the body. The embarrassment of huffing and puffing whilst participating in even the gentlest of exercise routines can deter a smoker from joining a gym or exercise class and often find that they give up a fitness routine altogether.

No longer socially acceptable

Far from being socially acceptable, smokers are increasingly seen as outcasts as smoking is banned in nearly all public places. The sight of a group of smokers huddled together on a pavement is not a particularly attractive one and the amount of people who have given up smoking has risen since stricter rules on where you can smoke have come into place. People are finally facing up to the realities of smoking-accepting the dangers and health implications of an addiction that can prove fatal. Smoking causes a variety of diseases from seemingly mild complaints such as tooth decay and an irritating calf, to lung cancer and heart disease. Perhaps the millions of pounds that health authorities all over the world have spent on raising awareness of the dangers of smoking have finally settled in to the public’s consciousness. Even an actual packet of cigarettes now often carries graphic warnings and often pictures graphically depicting tumours, blackened lungs and rotting teeth caused by the carcinogens in tobacco.

A positive change

It’s never too late to make a change for the better, and giving up smoking will not only increase your chances of a longer, healthier life but help reverse some of the detrimental effects that smoking may have already caused to the body. Exercise can play an important part in recovery from any addiction, but can be especially useful when stopping smoking.

Breathing easier

Aerobic exercise may help reduce craving pangs in the first stages of giving up smoking. The newly attained level of hell may help the ex smoker find returning to the dreaded weed are less attractive prospect. Cardiovascular exercise increases lung function in those who do not smoke so smokers whose lungs have been impaired by being addicted to cigarettes will find benefit by participating in exercises such as running or jogging.

Warning signs

The heart is less responsive to stimulus when nicotine is present in the system. The heart rate of a smoker is less likely to reach the appropriate optimum levels during keep fit and exercise programs. This can be an early warning signal of heart problems in the future.

Giving up smoking

There are many different methods of giving up smoking, from nicotine replacement therapy, hypnotism, cigarette replacements (so-called E-cigarettes,) to going cold turkey and using plain old-fashioned willpower. It’s not easy, nicotine is one of the most addictive drugs known to man and stopping smoking is notoriously hard. Whatever method you choose to give up cigarettes, exercise and living a healthier lifestyle will make the temptation of relapsing and returning to the antisocial habit less likely. Whatever your reasons for giving up smoking, it is unlikely you will regret it as your energy levels and general health improves.