You’ve finally decided that it’s time to ditch your tobacco habit. Congratulations on this life-changing decision! Now that you’re sure you’re ready to leave behind cigarettes for good, you’ll need to engage in healthier habits to keep your brain focused on the task at hand. Nicotine addiction is a tough nut to crack, but it’s not impossible. A simple exercise routine can do wonders for the mind of a smoker just entering their cessation journey.
Frequent exercise is the key to a healthy lifestyle. Exercising frequently can actually lower your risk for many of the same complications that smoking increases the risk factor for. These include heart attack, stroke, heart disease, and more. The bottom line? Smoking is a destructive habit, whereas exercise is a good one; it’s time to switch them out and leave smoking behind for good. Here’s how physical fitness can help you achieve that goal.
Millions of people smoke to help manage their stress. The dose of nicotine in a single cigarette helps the smoker feel relaxed (for a time), but it also compounds the stress and anxiety you’re already experiencing because you’ll become addicted to nicotine. This means that once you’ve gone a few hours without a cigarette, all of your stress and anxiety come flooding in; at ten times the strength.
Managing stress is a skill in itself. Successfully managing stress means adopting healthy and progressive outlets and habits, and smoking is certainly neither of those. Exercise has been proven to help reduce stress levels, bringing about a sense of calm as well as self-accomplishment.
The endorphins released when you exercise can trigger a happy feeling, which can boost your mood and your self-confidence. How could you go back to smoking after running a 5k and feeling great? Exercise provides more positive benefits and is a much more effective stress management tool.
Reduced Withdrawal Symptoms
Nicotine withdrawal is a serious condition that many smokers struggle with during their cessation journey. Some people are hardened enough to quit cold-turkey, ignoring the symptoms and pushing through. Others aren’t so lucky. As one of the most addictive substances on Earth, it’s truly amazing that anyone can break free of nicotine for good.
Withdrawal from nicotine can cause irritability, mood swings, digestive issues, anxiety, depression, appetite changes, intense cravings, coughing, fatigue, headaches, nausea, dizziness, and difficulty focusing. That’s right. All of that is simply from nicotine.
Exercise is a good way to help manage these symptoms. Keeping your body active provides both mental and physical benefits, boosting your mood and keeping your body operating at optimal levels. Sitting around doing nothing is a good way to fall into bad habits again, as you’ll be at the mercy of your withdrawal symptoms. Get up and get moving!
Replacing bad habits with good ones benefits you immediately and long-term. Smoking is something that can devastate the body in just a few short weeks, and leave you feeling addicted to a chemical that will eventually cause cancer, heart disease, and much more. You’ll feel better about yourself, you’ll look and feel better, and you’ll spend less on healthcare.
You can always try smoking alternative products like tobacco-free dip if you’re not ready to give up nicotine quite yet. You’ll be getting a dose of nicotine without 7,000 other chemicals being delivered right to your bloodstream.
In addition to your new exercise routine, adopt other good habits such as eating right and getting enough sleep. These things will help the body to heal from smoking and provide you with a general feeling/sense of well-being. You’ll also find yourself open to new social circles and even job opportunities. Employers can choose to not hire smokers simply because the risk is too great and healthcare is too expensive! Imagine all you’ve missed out on already by smoking.
The True Impact Of Smoking
We already understand that smoking devastates a smoker’s body, but do you truly understand the impact that smoking has on society as a whole? Not only does it create a public health crisis, increase the number of cancer patients and heart disease sufferers, and generally place a higher burden on the healthcare system, it also costs billions of dollars every year.
Not to mention, the tobacco industry itself is a major contributor to environmental damage. From extensive deforestation to make room for tobacco crops to spraying chemical-laced pesticides and fertilizers, to generating millions of tons of toxic waste, the industry is a powerhouse of devastation. What’s worse is that for all of that devastation, the industry doesn’t seem to be held accountable for its actions.
Quitting smoking is a decision that is much larger than just one person. You’re making a responsible social choice as well as a personal choice. You’ll be removing yourself from a destructive habit and discontinue your subconscious support of a destructive industry. We wish you luck in your cessation journey!