Quitting tobacco use is tough, but there are many tools available to you. Physical activity or exercise is something that can be done anywhere, at any time, for free, and the way you like it. It is not just for athletes and health nuts. Physical activity is also for people who want to quit using tobacco.
Fighting Cravings with Exercise
As exercise makes you breathe harder and makes your heart pump faster, cravings decrease. The effects can last for almost an hour after you finish working out. It does not need to be a long workout; just a few minutes of going up and down stairs can do the trick. Squats, knee bends, and arm swings are activities you can do in a confined space, such as an office.
When you use Lark Tobacco Cessation, you have the option of letting your Lark coach know when you have a craving. Lark can help you remember alternatives to using tobacco, such as getting physically active.
Physical Activity to Control Weight
Many smokers who are considering quitting fear gaining weight. That is a legitimate fear, as most people who quit do gain a few pounds. Smoking increases metabolism by about 200 calories per day, but adding in physical activity as you quit can more than make up for those 200 calories and prevent weight gain.
The following can burn about 200 calories for a 150-pound person. Calorie burn will be higher if you weigh more.
- 25 minutes of jogging.
- 25 minutes of bicycling.
- 30 minutes of swimming.
- 30 minutes on the elliptical machine.
- 35 minutes of dancing.
- 45 minutes of brisk walking.
- 45 minutes of sweeping or raking.
If those amounts sound like a lot to you, keep in mind that exercise gets easier as you get fitter. Plus, after you quit smoking, it becomes easier to breathe and more oxygen gets to your working muscles. Lark can help you with this and other strategies for preventing weight gain when you quit.
Reducing Anxiety with Activity
Feeling anxious is a common trigger for wanting to smoke, and it is also a common withdrawal symptom when you quit. Physical activity has powerful anti-anxiety effects, including balancing stress hormones and reducing upset stomach. It also increases levels of endorphins, which are chemicals in your brain that naturally improve mood and increase happiness. Next time you feel anxious, try reaching for your workout shoes instead of a cigarette.