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If you have decided to quit smoking, you must take to exercising to beat the nicotine withdrawal symptoms. Exercising plays a vital role in helping you resist cigarette cravings. Read on to find how exercising can help you quit smoking.

If you have decided to quit smoking, there cannot be a better decision that you could have taken. It can be a very long process but half the battle is already won if you have made up your mind to kick the butt. You must remember that staying quit is the most important part of your decision. Every morning you wake up, you must resolve not to smoke. Each day you spend without smoking is a small victory in itself.

Smokers get addicted to nicotine and that is the biggest challenge. Nicotine addiction causes cigarette cravings which are just too difficult to resist. The longer a person smokes, and the more cigarettes the person smokes per day, the more difficult it becomes to get over the addiction. Cigarette cravings get weaker with each passing day and typically go in about 20 minutes. If you are able to get though the initial minutes of your cravings, it will be easier to resist the craving for good.

Resisting cigarette cravings

It is best to formulate a plan to resist your cigarette cravings. Most people advocate 4 Ds to overcome their cigarette cravings. These include taking a deep breath, drinking water, delay, and doing something.

Taking Deep Breaths

Whenever you have the irresistible urge to smoke, take ten deep breaths. If possible, go outside and fill your lungs with fresh air. You will feel good and will be able to overcome a part of the anxiety associated with nicotine withdrawal.

Drinking water

Drinking a glass of water will make you feel good. It will also help pacify your cravings and give you a calming feeling. Abstain from drinking coffee or alcohol that you might have associated with smoking in the past.

Delay and do something

You can delay your urge for smoking by doing something. You can get some exercise, call a friend, go for a movie, or chew a stick of gum. Exercising has been found to be very useful in fighting the urge to smoke. A person trying to quit smoking gains about eight pounds of weight. Exercising not only helps to lose these extra pounds but it also stimulates the brain chemicals that are helpful in fighting nicotine cravings.

Exercise and Cigarette Cravings

Adrian Taylor and a group of researchers from the University of Exeter in Britain have recently combined the data of 19 clinical trials to conclude that a bout of exercises can actually be helpful for people trying to reduce their nicotine cravings. During their study, smokers were randomly asked to indulge in exercise either by brisk walking or biking. The researchers found that after working out, the smokers had a lesser desire to smoke than they had before.

Exercise and smoking do not go hand in hand. They are like oil and water. There is no doubt about the fact that tobacco has a negative effect on your overall health and fitness. Quitting tobacco improves your overall fitness and exercise performance. In fact, if you exercise regularly, the chances of your quitting tobacco and staying quit increase manifold.

Exercise diminishes the nicotine withdrawal symptoms. It has been found that just about 10 minutes of moderate exercising can help curb your craving to smoke. Cravings are typically caused by common withdrawal symptoms such as boredom, anxiety, and stress. Exercising helps improve your mood and as a result there are fewer cravings.

Continue reading after recommendations

  • “The acute effects of exercise on cigarette cravings, withdrawal symptoms, affect and smoking behaviour: a systematic review”, by Adrian H. Taylor, et al. Published in the April 2007 issue of Addiction., accessed on September 30, 2012.
  • “Exercise interventions for smoking cessation”, by Ussher MH, et al. Published in the January 2012 issue of The Cochrane Collaboration, accessed on September 30, 2012.
  • Photo courtesy of orbis_emea on Flickr: www.flickr.com/photos/orbis_emea/8009098866
  • Photo courtesy of siggichurchill on Flickr: www.flickr.com/photos/siggichurchill/3175387979