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World No Tobacco Day 2019: 8 Exercises To Help You Quit Smoking

Nicotine is believed to be the worst drug that can destroy the human body slowly. Smoking obviously supplies a certain amount of nicotine to the body every time a person smokes. No matter whether you chew, sniff or smoke, the harmful content of tobacco remain the same. Some among them are formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, arsenic, benzopyrene, nickel, and cadmium which has a direct negative impact on your central nervous system, respiratory system, digestive system, cardiovascular system and reproductive system [1] .


Various means and measures have been introduced to help one quit the dangerous habit. However, they always give in to the urge that becomes stronger, particularly at the time when they had the habit of smoking [2] . It is true that workouts and exercises can do some wonders, and the effects of good exercises can never be overlooked or denied. In the opinion of the workout experts and physiotherapists, workouts can be extremely effective in getting rid of the smoking habit [3] .


On this World No Tobacco Day, get to know some of the most effective exercises that help one quit the dangerous habit of smoking.

Exercises That Help Quit Smoking

1. Running

This aids in coping up with the withdrawal symptoms associated with quitting. Stay smoke-free and complete a 5 km running. It is not necessary that you take up the running 5 km on the very first day itself. Start with a shorter distance in the beginning and increase the distance gradually [4] .

2. Aerobics

In the early stages of quitting smoking, aerobic exercise is one of the most effective ways to curb the smoking habit. Give up smoking and engage in some other physical activities like aerobics as it will improve the efficiency of your lungs as well as the heart. Regular aerobic exercise will help your body to deliver more oxygen to the tissues and expel carbon dioxide more efficiently [5] .

3. Cardio workouts

Cardio-based exercises promote the strength and health of the cardiovascular system. It includes biking, stair climbing, rowing, cross country skiing, using an elliptical machine, aerobics, running, walking, etc. This helps to keep your heart healthy and build your cardiovascular endurance level and encourage you to quit smoking [6] .

4. Brisk walking

This exercise help improves your blood circulation, heart function and oxygen supply. Brisk walking is considered a natural way to reduce discomforts and cravings [7] .

5. Jogging

Regular smokers have poor lung and heart function. So it will be difficult for them to maintain high levels of activity. Jogging will help you to be fit both physically and mentally. The withdrawal symptoms, as well as the cravings associated with quitting, are difficult to handle, which jogging can help you with to some extent [8] .

6. Swimming

This exercise method has a positive effect on your lung function as well as overall health. Swimming will help you to stop smoking to a greater extent by improving your lung function, heart function, muscle strength and immunity [9] .

7. Yoga

Asanas and pranayamas like Kapal Bhati pranayama, Nadi shodhan pranayama, Shavasana, etc., will help you to reduce the cravings and the urge to smoke. Practising yoga can help rejuvenate the brain cells, improve blood circulation, relieve stress and calm your mind [10] .

8. Outdoor activities

Apart from all these exercises, one of the best ways to control your urges is by doing outdoor activities. Taking up sports is considered as being one of the best methods to quit smoking. Intense exercise releases certain chemicals that are similar to nicotine in the body, thereby satisfying your cravings [11] .

On A Final Note...

There is no safe way to use tobacco. The ill effects of tobacco usage can vary from you suffering from a minor headache to serious issues like cancer. Quitting tobacco can change your life tremendously in a positive way and will increase your overall life expectancy. Live your life to its fullest in the healthiest way.

View Article References  
  1. [1]   Conway, T. L., & Cronan, T. A. (1992). Smoking, exercise, and physical fitness. Preventive medicine, 21(6), 723-734.
  2. [2]   Valimaki, M. J., Karkkainen, M., Lamberg-Allardt, C., Laitinen, K., Alhav
  3. [3]   Marcus, B. H., Albrecht, A. E., Niaura, R. S., Abrams, D. B., & Thompson, P. D. (1991). Usefulness of physical exercise for maintaining smoking cessation in women. The American journal of cardiology, 68(4), 406-407.
  4. [4]   Siess, W., Lorenz, R., Roth, P., & Weber, P. C. (1982). Plasma catecholamines, platelet aggregation and associated thromboxane formation after physical exercise, smoking or norepinephrine infusion. Circulation, 66(1), 44-48.
  5. [5]   Bottorff, J. L., Oliffe, J. L., Sarbit, G., Kelly, M. T., & Cloherty, A. (2015). Men’s responses to online smoking cessation resources for new fathers: The influence of masculinities. JMIR research protocols, 4(2), e54.
  6. [6]   Waśkiewicz, A., Piotrowski, W., Sygnowska, E., Broda, G., Drygas, W., Zdrojewski, T., ... & Biela, U. (2008). Original article Quality of nutrition and health knowledge in subjects with diagnosed cardio-vascular diseases in the Polish population–National Multicentre Health Survey (WOBASZ). Kardiologia Polska (Polish Heart Journal), 66(5), 507-513.
  7. [7]   Taylor, A., & Katomeri, M. (2006). Effects of a brisk walk on blood pressure responses to the Stroop, a speech task and a smoking cue among temporarily abstinent smokers. Psychopharmacology, 184(2), 247-253.
  8. [8]   Kam, J. K. H. (1980). Carboxyhemoglobin levels between jogging and non-jogging smokers. Experientia, 36(12), 1397-1398.
  9. [9]   Massin, N., Bohadana, A. B., Wild, P., Hery, M., Toamain, J. P., & Hubert, G. (1998). Respiratory symptoms and bronchial responsiveness in lifeguards exposed to nitrogen trichloride in indoor swimming pools. Occupational and environmental medicine, 55(4), 258-263.
  10. [10]   Bock, B. C., Fava, J. L., Gaskins, R., Morrow, K. M., Williams, D. M., Jennings, E., ... & Marcus, B. H. (2012). Yoga as a complementary treatment for smoking cessation in women. Journal of Women's Health, 21(2), 240-248.
  11. [11]   Kishchuk, N., Tremblay, M., Lapierre, J., Heneman, B., & O'Loughlin, J. (2004). Qualitative investigation of young smokers' and ex-smokers' views on smoking cessation methods. Nicotine & Tobacco Research, 6(3), 491-500.

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