Lots of people use exercise to help them ditch their tobacco habit. Exercise can help in limiting weight gain, reducing hunger and managing your stress levels as you try to leave tobacco for good.
Research also shows that exercise can be used to combat cigarette cravings. In a study published in the British Journal of Pharmacology, researchers gave three groups of nicotine-addicted mice an exercise wheel for 24, 2 or 0 hours each day.
The mice who could exercise showed large reductions in the typical chemical symptoms associated with nicotine withdrawal.
Alexis Bailey, who led the study at St George’s, University of London said: “The evidence suggests that exercise decreases nicotine withdrawal symptoms in humans; however, the mechanisms mediating this effect are unclear.”
But what kind of exercise should you do? Here are 14 ideas to get you started.
Exercise may seem daunting at first, particularly if you aren’t in great shape. Just going on a brisk 20 minute walk can help you build confidence and help ease tension in your tobacco-less life.
Running helps build aerobic fitness and endurance. It can also help repair some of the damage to your body caused by smoking. The Couch to 5K programme is a good training programme for beginners.
Think how you can incorporate cycling into your daily routine. Can you ride a bike to work? Ok, how about to the shops?
Badminton is one of the most accessible racquet sports. The shuttlecock moves slowly and you don’t need a lot of skill or fitness to get started.
Just ten minutes of push ups, bodyweight squats lunges and other home-based exercises can help you get into shape.
You can shift body fat, tone your upper body and your lower body improve coordination, all with just a skipping rope. Even 15 minutes a day is enough to make a difference.
Yoga can help you relax and focus on your goal of ditching tobacco. Sun salutations contain a good series of beginner movements. Watch the video below.
Working out with a group gives you extra motivation and helps you meet new people. Fitness class, dance classes, boot camp classes – gyms run classes to cater to all tastes.
High-intensity circuit training is one of the fastest ways to see results from training. Gyms often run circuit classes, but if you want to go it alone then the No Excuses circuit is a good introduction.
Some people think that weightlifting is only for serious athletes, but a long list of physical, mental and health benefits means it’s good for pretty much anyone. Here’s a good plan for beginners.
Rock climbing has been building in popularity for years. Indoor climbing centres are opening up all over the place and climbing will even feature in the next Olympics. Why not see what the hype is all about.
Get a new appreciation for the landscape and conquer some mountains while you conquer tobacco. Hiking is great to bring friends and family together.
As well as combating stress, anxiety and depression, contact with dogs helps you get active every day. If you don’t have a dog, why not offer to walk a friend’s or a neighbour’s.
You might not think it, but hard hours spent tending a garden is actually a tough workout. It’s also enjoyable, especially when the sun is shining.