5 Ways Exercise Helps You Quit Smoking

by Dr Antonio Howell, MD

in quit smoking

Dr. Howell

Exercise is not only the best way to maintain your overall health but it is also the best way to relieve your nicotine cravings when quitting smoking. The moment you quit cigarettes, you’ll begin to see amazing changes in your body.


senior businessman smokes a cigar and does exerciseHow can exercising help you quit smoking?



  1. Working out lessens your stress levels. Regular exercise has been scientifically proven to ward of stress by stimulating the production of feel-good hormones in the brain. Such hormones fight the effect of cortisol (stress hormone) in your body and instantly boost your mood. Furthermore, physical activity in any form can also be fun. It helps you unwind and enjoy your outdoors activities.
  2. Exercise combats chronic diseases. Regular physical activities can provide you amazing health benefits. It can even help prevent high blood pressure, and lower bad cholesterol. These will keep your blood flowing smoothly. Regular exercise also reduce the risk of heart disease, many forms of cancers, obesity, and non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus, autoimmune disease like rheumatoid arthritis and weakened immune system. Regular exercise can boost your immune system and make your body stronger and ready to fight against deadly diseases.
  3. Regular exercise also encourages better sleep. It can help you fall asleep easier, which is essential to effectively deal with the debilitating symptoms of nicotine withdrawal.
  4. Exercise trumps nicotine cravings. A 2012 study published in the journal Addiction suggests that exercise could temporary ease cigarette cravings. In another study published in the journal Nicotine & Tobacco Research, male and female smokers who completed a 12-week resistance training regimen as part of a standard smoking cessation treatment program were twice as likely to successfully quit compared to those who did not regularly lift weights. While researchers are still not sure of the reason why, they speculate that this benefit comes from the ability of physical activity to boost mood. When you are feeling great, you are less likely to reach for a cigarette and light up.
  5. Exercise can also help you control your weight. Exercising regularly is a good way to counter weight gain – a common side effect of quitting. The more intense the activity, the more calories you burn. Having regular exercise will boost your energy levels, which in turn strengthen your muscles and allow you to work out more efficiently.

Incorporating physical activity in your quit smoking program is a good strategy to boost your chance of success. Not only will you be able to fight nicotine cravings and feel better, you will also improve your overall health.


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