Tag Archives: exercise

Stretching and Exercising will Help you Forget Cigarettes

A healthy mind in a healthy body. That is a great saying, and a great ideal to shoot for. And believe me, stopping smoking cigarettes is a fantastic and major step to take into making this a reality. I do about 7 hours of strenuous physical activity a week, martial arts in my case. I can tell you from personal experience that two days after quitting smoking cigarettes, exercises that were killers before, when I was a smoker, had become merely gruelling, and the annoying stuff became pleasant! My point is not that you should take up martial arts – although everyone should – but that you will see great physical changes in your body and the way your react to exercise almost immediately after stopping smoking cigarettes.

It is important to take care of your body, but it is equally crucial to do so in a way that will clear your mind of those nasty tobacco cravings. Now the recipe I give you here is not foolproof, but it certainly helped me through the rough patches.

Stretch. Stretch your legs, your arms, your shoulders, your hips, rotate you knees and don’t neglect your elbows, the usual forgotten of the stretching routine. Take your time and go slowly, paying complete and utter attention to what your body is telling you. The goal here is to focus your mind on your body, not to hurt it and prevent you from stretching again.

Getting your body limber, if not in actual shape, will help you greatly on the road to stay tobacco free. After being atrophied by cigarette smoke for so long, every inch of your body will appreciate being allowed to stretch, in a manner that is respectful to your current limits. Although you may not be able to do a complete split on day one, or touch your toes with your fingers, you will appreciate the fact that being agile and limber will take the years of you like a rejuvenating potion!

Go for a Walk after Dinner instead of Smoking a Cigarette!

One of the greatest things about quitting smoking, and that you will feel the effects of immediately, is your energy level. Just a few days after stopping smoking you will realize that you can effortlessly climb stairs, where before you only could take the elevator and climbing the stairs was a painful and potentially dangerous endeavour!

As a new non-smoker, you should take every possibility and every opportunity to exercise your muscles in ways you could not before. If at all possible, try to combine physical activity with a need to extricate yourself from a potential danger situation.

For example, the after dinner cigarette, after every single meal in fact, is an institution in itself, a ritual, a cigarette smoking rule that can not be broken. And just for that reason, this is a habit you must destroy! What better way than after having enjoyed a delicious dinner, you stand up, stretch, and step outside for a few minutes? But instead of lighting a nasty cancer stick, you stretch your legs a little and go for a pleasant, fast walk around the block, making sure you inhale and exhale deeply, feeling the oxygen gush from your lungs into your blood and muscles!

This has got to be better than doing the exact opposite, huddling away from the wind as you prepare your hourly dose of taste-killing tar, cyanide and nicotine!

Going for a short, five-minute walk when you finish a meal will seem a bit strange to your dinner guests or friends the first time you do it, but when they understand that you are replacing the poison of cigarette smoking with a vigorous few minutes of pleasant exercise, they will encourage you and most certainly will want to join you as you stroll around the block, recharging your batteries, settling your stomach and in general heightening your level of well-being and health!

After Quitting Smoking, Join an Organized Exercise Class

Despite everything that we wish for, quitting smoking cigarettes is a time of heightened stress. Nicotine will not want to so easily abandon its hold on you, and the habits you have created by smoking are not as easily broken and discarded as we wish they were. When facing this situation, it is crucial to have the proper tools at your disposal to make your effort to stop cigarettes completely successful so that you do not have to go through the whole thing again at a later date.

One method that I have found particularly motivating to help me quit smoking is joining an organized exercise group. Since my young age I’ve always had a problem with going to gym to work out – the boredom was killing me, you see – but an organized exercise group is something entirely different!

Join a group at your local gym or YMCA even before quitting smoking. You will meet people and make new friends that are not smokers, already unconsciously turning you towards the path of quitting smoking. Make sure you pick a class at least twice a week, ideally three times or more. For this to work, you have to take an interesting class, or at least something you do not find boring. Martial arts work for me, but you may enjoy Pilates, dancing or something else.

Regular attendance for a few months will bring you up to par, as far as you can go without quitting smoking. Once you decide to quit, you will see an explosion in your performance almost overnight, which is an incredible motivator to keep being a non-smoker! You will be able to do things you never could, practically overnight!

Joining an organized exercise class before (or after) quitting smoking is also a great way to control your weight. If you already have something to aim for – better performance in your class for example – you will not want to gain weight and jeopardize your chances of success!

Regular Exercise Will Help You Quit Smoking

Even though these articles are all about quitting smoking and staying quit, a little must be said of exercise. It should not be a surprise to anyone that regular exercise is essential to maintaining a good shape, but it can also help tremendously in quitting smoking, and even more importantly in the aftermath of stopping smoking, when cravings and possible weight gain can threaten to overwhelm you.

Quitting smoking is, whether we like it or not, a major lifestyle change for most non-casual smokers. Since it is very often quit difficult to make several major changes at the same time, it is important to start a regular exercise regimen before quitting smoking. Once you are regular in your attendance of fitness classes, the gym or martial arts, whatever tickles your fancy, you will quickly find yourself reaching a plateau, since smoking cigarettes puts breaks of physical effort and capability.

The odds are very good that you will be drawn to quitting smoking so that you can perform better at your sport or physical activity of choice, and that is the best scenario possible. Not only do you now have a regular exercise regimen, but the exercise itself is working on your psyche, telling you in effect that cigarettes are holding you back and that you could be performing a lot better, if only all that cigarette smoke wasn’t filling your lungs.

And I have news for you: when you do quit smoking, and continue your sport of choice, you will notice an overnight – literally overnight! – performance gain that will leave you flabbergasted! Cigarettes and physical effort do not go hand in hand, that is for certain, and you will enjoy your physical activities all the more if you do not feel like you are choking to death at every breath because of your nasty cigarette habit!