Lots of smokers started at an early age, many were even peer pressured into trying it out during their teenage years. And now as adults, it’s likely the social activity has turned into a severe addiction. Thus, when a smoker decides to kick the habit it can be a long process but it will bring a lot of changes in the individual’s life.
Support groups, treatment facilities, nicotine patches, and even hypnotism are some of the methods you can use if you wish to quit smoking. But did you know that something as simple as exercising is just as beneficial and effective in leaving behind a cigarette habit?
Daily exercise has always been credited with keeping a healthy and strong body. It therefore only makes sense to take advantage of this simple activity to help keep your mind off cigarette smoking. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that it can boost immunity, strength, and endurance to name a few examples.
Joining a gym is the obvious move for anybody who wants a healthier lifestyle. Thankfully, fitness centers aren’t difficult to come by. These days, nearly every housing complex like apartments and condos has a health facility. Gyms complete with fitness coaches and instructors can also be found in almost every corner and commercial area. Most of these fitness facilities require membership which can range from monthly, quarterly, or annual plans. Finding a gym that suits your budget and needs is very much doable.
When starting out, it is always best to consult your designated gym instructor. He or she can help determine what kind of fitness program targets your goals. Regardless if it’s to lose weight, gain muscle, or maintain a healthy body and mind. A typical program includes stretching routines, cardio exercises, and weight lifting. Furthermore, these fitness plans are created to vary a little from one day to another. Some days could focus on legs, the next could be about arms or another would work on the abdominal area.
Fitness at home
The gym is not the only place you can work out in. There are other ways to keep yourself preoccupied and in good condition. After all, not everyone is crazy about sharing equipment in a noisy fitness center. If you lack spare time you can integrate something simple like a brisk walk early in the day or a jog in the afternoon after a day of work. The point is to insert exercise anywhere you can.
What’s great about exercising is that it does not always necessitate a need for heavy equipment. You can employ plyometric techniques, pilates, or even yoga techniques that require minimal accessories like an exercise mat, bands, or simple vinyl dumbbells. It’s even possible to do away with them altogether by taking advantage of things that are already available to you. For instance, a jug of milk can be used in place of weights, stairs, couches, and beds allow you to try out countless exercises.
However you go about it, exercise does not have to mean pumping iron or training as though you are competing for the Olympics. The important thing is to find activities that stimulate you so that grabbing a smoke is the last thing on your mind. Joining dance classes, Zumba lessons, or trying out capoeira can provide just as much aerobic exercise and a much-needed distraction for a person looking to quit smoking.
Perhaps the biggest stumbling block you may encounter when you decide to quit smoking is not in getting started. Rather, the difficulty occurs in maintaining the routine. Lots of people start out really well, even investing in running shoes, gym wear, home equipment, or pricey membership fees.
As the days go by meeting the demands and following through with the routine becomes too much like a task. And when this happens, boredom creeps in and the desire to follow through with the program diminishes.
Switching up your exercise regimen and engaging in new activities affords you a smaller chance of losing interest while ensuring you stay on track with your attempt to give up smoking. Knowing which part of the day to schedule your workouts also affects how well you can adhere to it without experiencing burnout.
For instance, avid gym-goers tend to pick between the start or the end of the day. It is important to understand that your choice should be dependent on your lifestyle. A person who tends to work long hours and finds themselves tired by the end of it then working out after isn’t ideal. Conversely, those who have more energy in the evenings would do well with exercising then.
Simple tricks to help keep busy
Aside from regular exercise, there are a few things you can do to keep busy. When at home refrain from watching television. Move around, do some chores or home projects and while you are at it, put some music on to get you going. Sing along to it or even dance to the music as you work through the house. Use the time as an opportunity to rid your home of anything that could remind you of smoking. Redecorate by taking out smoking accessories like lighters, ashtrays, cigar cutters, tobacco cabinets, etc. Not only does the process help you remove items that are associated with smoking it also signifies a fresh start in your life.
Make it a habit to plan your day ahead of time. To avoid having too much free time doing nothing, you can plan a visit to a museum, catching up with family and friends, or playing games.
Putting together a list of factors that causes stress is a good way to ensure you not revert to old smoking habits. Why? The reason is simple, stress has been credited as one of the reasons smokers have developed a nicotine problem in the first place. Logic, therefore, dictates that knowing what causes the stress would, in turn, help you stay away from cigarettes.
Replacing a bad habit with a good one
Cigarette smokers or not exercise has always been recommended for a healthy body and mind. Regular exercise releases endorphins which leave a person with a good feeling and mood. Moreso regular fitness activities rehabilitate and strengthen compromised organs like the heart and lungs that were exposed to nicotine. Workouts may not cure a smoker of smoking-related health issues but they can assist in rehabilitation. With ample exercise, there is nothing but benefits for you to gain especially when en route to your journey to quit smoking.