Using exercise to quit smoking is possibly the best way to get away from nicotine for good. Adopting a new lifestyle in general and replacing one habit with the other helps people to not worry about gaining weight as a side effect. Multiple studies, including one from St. George’s University in London in 2017, point to the benefits of using exercise as a method of quitting smoking, in addition to its effectiveness.
The main reason, according to the team led by Helen Keyworth, is that exercise and physical activity help a lot to fight the symptoms of smoking withdrawal, which is often a cause of constant relapse.
Withdrawal syndrome, according to the WHO, is a group of symptoms that appear after a person stops using a psychoactive substance that has been used constantly for a long period of time or in strong doses. This usually happens to those addicted to alcohol, medication or drugs in general, but tobacco also has substances that cause people to feel physical and psychological discomfort once it is stopped.
You should pay special attention to how you eat so that you don’t condition your health and achieve your sports goals.
Some of the symptoms are irritation, depression, sleep problems, or even a small case of the flu, according to SmokeFree, an organization dedicated to warning about the damage caused by smoking.
According to studies, including Keyworth’s, exercise at a medium intensity “reduces the severity of nicotine withdrawal. The study also found that a receptor was activated in the brain that was affected by nicotine, which helps resist the urge to smoke.
It is recommended that you begin exercise right at the time you quit smoking, not after, because withdrawal symptoms are usually strongest and most persistent in the first week. Although it is impractical to exercise every time the urge arises, it is also advisable to find ways to release energy and prevent the physical effects from becoming stronger.
Also, exercising helps regulate sleep after a while, which can help people rest without feeling the urge to smoke.
In general, it is a perfect option since it distracts you from the problem in general and helps to replace it, creating a healthier lifestyle. Of course, it is best if you establish exercise routines and constant follow-up to keep going, and even if you have already quit smoking, you can always continue.