In recent years, the number of cigarette smokers in the U.S. has drastically lowered. Part of this has to do with cultural shifts away from unhealthy lifestyles as well as the inability to smoke in most indoor establishments. But there are still many long-time smokers who would like to kick the habit but are having a typically difficult time doing so. Now more than ever, there seems to be endless resources out there – from nicotine patches to herbal remedies – geared towards helping these folks quit. And now more than ever, people are relapsing despite the various products and stop-smoking strategies. The trick is to look at smoking as a mind-body issue as well as a chemical one.
To this end, physical exercises are just as important as mental ones when it comes to breaking the repetition that makes up a good portion of a smoking habit. Not only that, but regular exercise can help the soon-to-be ex-smoker begin to recuperate his or her body after years of abuse and get on the road to general wellness.
Here are some exercise ideas that can help with just such a purpose.
Establish a Challenging Routine
The repetitive nature of physical exercise is the perfect substitute for the repetitive nature of cigarette smoking. It gives the mind some other routine to focus on, and in turn builds the body back up. Plus, exercise releases endorphins in the brain that can help temper mood swings and ease stress. And of course, it will help stave off the weight gain that is the scourge of so many recent quitters. That isn’t to say the routine needs to be in a gym environment; jogging or hiking are effective routines too. The important thing for those setting a routine is to push themselves physically as far as possible week after week.
Hopping on a treadmill for 15 minutes a day is a great way to get air recycling back into damaged lungs as well as releasing the aforementioned endorphins. However, those who really want to make the commitment should adhere to the experts’ advice and plan on performing thirty minutes of cardio five days per week. On paper this may seem excessive, but many find that regular workouts such as these pay noticeable dividends when it comes to curbing stress.
Everyone knows that strength training builds muscle and increases bone density. Also, it benefits those who are eating excessively due to cigarette cessation by burning scores of calories. Experts recommend two to three days per week of strength training – push-ups, pull-ups, weights, etc., etc. – in order to reap the full benefits. Also, it’s crucial to allow for one-day breaks between training each individual muscle group.
While exercise should certainly be a part of anyone’s quit-smoking regimen, it should also be used in conjunction with other measures. These can be all-natural home remedies or over-the-counter pharmaceutical aids like gum or the patch.
Amy Rogan is a professional blogger that discusses health related topics. She writes for Zemocigs.com, where you can find the Electronic Cigarette Kits.