If you’re struggling to quit smoking and are asking yourself ‘what is the point’? Keep reminding yourself of the many, many positives associated with quitting smoking. Your home and clothing will smell nicer, you will smell nicer, your teeth will look whiter, your skin will look and feel softer and healthier, your health and fitness will improve, your bank account will increase, and you could very well save your own life in the process. Quitting smoking is no enviable task and it is certainly not something that can be done overnight. One method of assisting with quitting smoking, and one which many people probably never even considered, is physical exercise, which is what we’ll be taking a look at right now.

Exercise helps reduce stress – Numerous studies have revealed that smokers are far more likely to light up a cigarette in a stressful situation and in stressful conditions and not only that, but there are more likely to smoke more than one cigarette in one sitting as well. When people try to cut back on cigarettes and quit, they go through nicotine withdrawal, with one of the main symptoms being increased stress levels. Physical exercise on the other hand however, has been shown to actually reduce stress levels as endorphins and other “happy chemicals” are secreted by the body following bouts of physical exercise.

Exercise boosts the immune system – Smoking cigarettes has been proven to decrease immune system strength and function, essentially weakening your body and leaving you more susceptible to illness and disease. Exercise however, actually boosts the immune system, making you healthier and happier as a result. Not only that, but it also improves circulation which means more oxygen is transported around the body, and more toxins and addictive compounds can be filtered out of the body far quicker and easier than before.

Exercise will take your mind off the cigarettes – Another great benefit of exercising whilst trying to quit smoking is the fact that the exercise itself will actually distract you and take your mind off of the cigarettes themselves. Cravings for cigarettes do not last a long time, only around six minutes or so, and so the next time you get one of these cravings, why not do some exercise instead? You could go for a jog or a brisk walk, head down to your local gym, do some crunches and push ups in your front room, or anything else for that matter. Once you’ve finished working out, your oxygen levels will have increased, there will be natural endorphins present to improve your mood, and the nicotine cravings will have subsided.

Exercise improves brain function – Another benefit of exercising when trying to quit smoking is the fact that exercise has been proven to help improve brain function. The clearer you can think, the easier it will be to resist smoking. Rational thinking will prevail once you remind yourself how far you’ve come and why you’re trying to quit smoking in the first place. The clearer you’re thinking, the easier it will be to quit smoking.