I know, I know, I keep going on about all the things exercise can do for you, but did you know it could actually help smokers quit that nasty habit?
Most women are afraid to quit smoking because of the weight gain that is usually associated with quitting, but exercise has proven to reduce weight gain. In a study done through the Archives of Internal Medicine, women who exercised vigorously while trying to quit smoking were twice as likely to remain smoke-free and they gained about half the weight of those who did not exercise.
Most people who exercise are not smokers because once you get in a healthy habit you stay focused on healthy activities and are less likely to do anything harmful to the body. Think of it as replacing a bad habit for a good one. “People who exercise (when trying to quit smoking) feel better both mentally and physically and report fewer mood swings as well as a feeling of empowerment,” according to Colleen Doyle, MS, RD, director of nutrition and physical activity for the American Cancer Society (ACS). This empowerment can give you the strength to stay smoke free.
Remember, according to the ACS, smokers are twice as likely to die from a heart attack and women who smoke while on birth control pills have a higher risk of a heart attack, stroke, and blood clotting in the legs. Everyone knows that smoking can cause lung cancer, but few people realize it is also a risk factor for many other types of cancer as well, including cancer of the mouth, larynx, pharynx, esophagus, bladder, kidney, pancreas, cervix, stomach, and in some cases leukemia.
Make no excuses and start the steps to quit smoking. Realize your body, health, and family are more important than a nicotine fix. Be sure to consult with your physician to get medical clearance when starting an exercise program and get going.