How Exercise Can Help You Quit Smoking for Good

Exercise Can Help You Quit Smoking, How Exercise Can Help You Quit Smoking for Good, Dr. Nicolle

It’s Wellness Wednesdays! We’ll talk about how exercise can help you quit smoking for good. If you’ve been putting off exercising while you try to quit smoking, you may want to change your plans. Research shows that working out can help you give up tobacco for good.

One study in Taiwan found that adults who exercise were 55% more likely to quit smoking and 43% less likely to relapse.


If anxiety and depression have made it difficult for you to quit smoking in the past, your odds may be even better. Exercise doubled the success rate for smoking cessation for adults with high-anxiety sensitivity in a recent study by the University of Texas at Austin.


See if exercise can help you to say goodbye to cigarettes. Take a look at these tips for kicking the habit while you shape up.


The Benefits of Exercise for Smokers:

1. Fight cravings. Moderate aerobic exercise appears to be especially effective for reducing the severity of nicotine withdrawal symptoms. If you can reduce cravings, you’ll be less likely to light up.


2. Deal with stress. Any physical activity tends to lift your spirits. That’s especially important when you may be feeling tense and hostile in those first few days of being smoke-free.


3. Manage your weight. The average ex-smoker gains 5 to 10 pounds. Exercise keeps you slimmer by suppressing your appetite and burning extra calories.


4. Live longer. What if you’re still unable to quit smoking on a single try? You might like knowing that working out increases longevity for both smokers and nonsmokers.


5. Change your lifestyle. Positive health habits usually reinforce each other. When you exercise and give up tobacco, you may find yourself eating a more nutritious diet and going to bed earlier.

Exercise Can Help You Quit Smoking, How Exercise Can Help You Quit Smoking for Good, Dr. Nicolle

Exercise Tips for Smokers:

1. Start out gradually. Smoking reduces your endurance and puts a lot of strain on your heart, lungs, and other organs. You may need to limit yourself to low-intensity workouts at first while your body recovers.


2. Focus on aerobics. Make aerobic activities like walking and swimming your top priorities. Over time, you can add in other components to train for strength, flexibility, and balance as well.


3. Stay active. Any movement can distract you from wanting a cigarette. Spend your time in between gym sessions doing yard work or flying a kite with your kids.


Other Tips for Quitting Smoking:

1. Seek support. Having your family and friends on your side can make a big difference. Let them know how they can help you by joining you at a yoga class or giving you an occasional pep talk. You might also enjoy participating in online forums or calling a helpline.


2. Consider nicotine replacement. Nicotine gum and other products can make you more comfortable while you’re quitting. Your pharmacist can explain how different products work, and some states even offer free kits to qualifying adults.


3. Combine methods. Why rely on just one technique when you can use multiple methods that reinforce each other? Maybe you’ll succeed by wearing a patch and running a mile for 3 days each week.


4. Try again. Most smokers need about 8 to 10 attempts before they quit for good. Count each effort as a success if it brings you closer to your ulitmate quit date.


5. Talk with your doctor. Your physician can advise you on how to develop a plan for quitting smoking that addresses your individual needs. Personal attention will help you to stay safe and choose the most effective methods for you.


Smoking can be a difficult habit to break so you want all the help you can get. Along with proper medical and social support, exercise could be your solution for becoming tobacco free.

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Exercise Can Help You Quit Smoking, How Exercise Can Help You Quit Smoking for Good, Dr. Nicolle


I really wanted to talk about this topic today because your natural health and wellness is important. You can adopt healthy lifestyle practices that improve your health, your environment, and enrich your life, which can in turn improve the lives of those close to you. You have the power to break the cycle of poor health, including chronic disease, so that you can leave a legacy of health to your loved ones.


I use functional medicine and lifestyle medicine as the first line of treatment, before medications, to treat lifestyle-related chronic diseases. Lifestyle-related chronic diseases include diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and some cancers, just to name a few. Lifestyle practices, such as eating a whole-food plant-based diet and regular physical activity, can help you lose weight, reverse some chronic diseases (if you suffer from them), and can even help you with detoxification. In certain cases, these approaches may even outperform pharmaceutical therapy.


But I always tell my patients that conventional medications may be appropriate at this time to prevent catastrophic illness, but over time, you can work to make the necessary lifestyle changes to possibly reduce and/or eliminate medications. Please remember to always consult your physician for your particular needs and circumstances prior to making any decisions whatsoever.


Is Dietary Supplementation Right For You?

For some people, vitamin and mineral supplements offer important health benefits. Supplements are designed to fight deficiencies found in our diet and complement the food we eat regularly. Supplements are basically “helping hands” to our daily food.


If you suspect that you aren’t getting the nutrients you need, consider shifting your focus from supplements to eating better.


But it is very important to note that we are not eating the same foods we ate years ago because the soils have been depleted of critical nutrients through current industrial farming practices. And because the soil is not as good as it used to be, the food supply (grown from the depleted soil) is not as good as it used to be. For example, you are not getting the same levels of magnesium as you would have gotten 30 or even 50 years ago.


Second, much of the food has been genetically altered, which can impact the inherent and unique nutritional composition that each food possess. For example, ancient einkorn wheat has less gluten, more protein, more Vitamin A, and more beta carotene, than modern genetically modified wheat.


Third, the toxic load in the environment today is much higher than 100 years ago. We can see this with global warming, toxic landfills, polluted oceans and waterways, etc. Toxicity levels interfere with nutrient assimilation and absorption not just into the foods, but into our bodies as well.


So… if you are unable to eat better, the supplements in my MaxHealth Essentials Bundle may provide the extra boost you need.

MaxHealth Essentials Bundle


These are my favorite Wellness and Immune-Boosting Supplements to use! This MaxHealth Essentials Bundle will ensure you have the intake of the important vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to decrease inflammation and boost your innate wellness day and night. Taken together, it’s a solid plan for increasing your body’s natural resiliency.


For best results make sure you use the supplements with dietary changes including a whole food plant-based diet, regular exercise (at least 2-3x per week), regular sleep (8 hours per night), and intermittent fasting (at least 1-3x per week).


Weight Monitoring

Since weight management is very important in combatting chronic diseases, I recommend that you be mindful of your weight and its fluctuations, and that you monitor your weight AT LEAST on a weekly basis. I recommend a scale that includes a body composition monitor (*this scale cannot be used with a pacemaker or other implanted devices).


Physical Activity

Physical activity (or exercise) can improve your health and reduce the risk of developing several chronic diseases like high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and cancer, just to name a few. Physical activity can improve your mood, boost your immune system, help you maintain a healthy weight, and is a great way to detox your body!


I often recommend yoga and resistance training for physical activity, but as you are aware, there are plenty of forms of “movement” that you can do! But for the basics, especially if you’re just getting started, yoga and resistance training are where I would start.



Yoga can be a great way to improve your strength and flexibility, manage your stress, improve your heart health, and lose weight! I recommend using a grounded yoga mat to connect yourself with the earth and reduce inflammation.


Resistance Training

Resistance training is the mainstay for overall health. It not only has beneficial effects on reducing body fat, it also increases muscle size and strength. Check out some basic dumbbells/free weights that I recommend to everyone.


Another alternative for dumbbells/free weights are resistance bands. They are great for physical therapy, yoga, strength training, and excellent for traveling.


Remember, living a healthy lifestyle including eating a whole foods plant-based diet, regular physical activity, and reducing stress are the best ways to maintain a healthy weight. Let me know what you think in the comment section below.

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Last updated on October 11th, 2021 at 04:07 pm

Exercise Can Help You Quit Smoking, How Exercise Can Help You Quit Smoking for Good, Dr. Nicolle

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