21 May 2007

Walk instead of smoke

People who are trying to quit smoking should take a quick walk when they feel like lighting up. Even a few minutes of physical activity can help reduce cigarette cravings and withdrawal symptoms. Exercise drastically reduces cigarette cravings, even when it's a low intensity activity. It seems that even small doses of exercise may truly help fight cigarette cravings. Longer periods of more intense exercise, like a 15 minute walk, for instance, held cravings at bay for as long as 50 minutes. Exercise also helped lessen the severity of withdrawal symptoms including stress, anxiety, tension, poor concentration, irritability, and restlessness.

Exercise could be an alternative to snacking for many smokers, who are trying to quit, especially since the amount of time and activity required to cut cravings is minimal. You shouldn't think of exercise as a visit to the gym, or requiring the need to put on specific clothing, or to be done on a set number of days a week, or only possible on weekends, it's not necessarily true, the key is simply to do something active when the urge to smoke strikes. If it takes an average of 6 minutes to smoke a cigarette, then doing a walk for this period may be enough to help remove the urge. Exercise has many other benefits and no side effects, and so, exercise should be a part of every smoker's quitting plan.

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