So you are in the process of quitting smoking, and it sure isn’t easy! Here are three reasons why taking up or increasing daily exercise will help.
Reason 1: Exercise will assist in stopping the weight gain associated with quitting smoking, and which can be highly discouraging. Quitting smoking can cause an average weight gain of 4-5kgs in the first year after first quitting, according to a study in the British Medical Journal in 2012 (H.-J. Aubin, A. Farley, D. Lycett, P. Lahmek, P. Aveyard. “Weight gain in smokers after quitting cigarettes”). This weight gain is due to two key reasons:
– Smoking is an appetite suppressant sometimes causing weight loss while smoking.
– The gratification of smoking is often replaced by emotional eating.
Take up or increase your daily exercise to maintain a healthy weight.
Reason 2: An off-cited reason for taking up smoking is boredom. In idle moments the temptation to go back to the habit is often strongest – exercise will keep your body and mind active and help keep those physical and mental cravings at bay.
Reason 3: Quitting smoking is associated with increased stress, irritability, and depression. Quitting smoking aside, increased exercise is recommended for these ills in general. Exercise releases endorphins which are good for the body and mind. Exercising regularly often increases self-confidence, and as you feel even better about yourself, you’ll be more motivated to persevere in the quitting smoking battle.
Quote: “Exercise can’t counteract the damage being done to your body while you continue to smoke. What exercise can do is help you kick the habit.” – Kenneth H. Cooper, MD