You have made a major decision to quit smoking and incorporated several lifestyle changes that encourage you to keep away from smoking. However, nicotine withdrawal does have some effects on the body and mind. Since the body is accustomed to the presence of nicotine in the body, the system reacts severely without its presence. It can make you feel anxious, stressed, depressed, jittery, grumpy, worried, frustrated, physically exhausted among other symptoms. This is due to the fact that the body receives more oxygen and less carbon dioxide. This also increases the blood flow to the brain.
It is quite challenging for a person to cope with the stress that is associated with quitting without a cigarette. Being aware of such symptoms is useful to manage the withdrawal symptoms effectively. There are many tools that you can use to recover from nicotine addiction including physical exercises. Be positive to keep the confidence and self esteem up. It is recommended to consult your doctor before you take up an exercise regimen.
Exercise for the daily routine
Including exercise as part of the daily routine aids physical fitness as well as the state of mind. You can begin with a simple body workout that focuses on the total body strength. Cardio exercises such as walking, running, cycling, swimming, dancing raises the heart rate and has consistent movements. Aim for 30 minutes of cardio work out along with another 30 minutes of body strengthening exercises.
To improve mood and emotions
Among the various nicotine withdrawal symptoms, it is common to feel irritated and frustrated easily, especially during the first few days of withdrawal. Cardiovascular exercises and aerobics are helpful in improving the mood and emotions. It is seen that intensive exercises are effective in managing emotional stress. Cardio vascular exercises and aerobics are intensive exercises that release mood elevating chemicals such as serotonin, dopamine, endorphins and adrenaline. Aerobic exercises include walking, jogging, cross county hiking and other activities that involves core muscles. Research show that people who follow cardio and aerobic exercise regimen see significant improvement in their emotions. It also demonstrates that physical exercise such as aerobic have a strong connection between improved emotions and stable physical health.
Heal with yoga
Practicing yoga is known to have therapeutic benefits, especially among women, to manage the nicotine withdrawal symptoms. Yoga brings heightened awareness to the body and the mind, which helps to beat the smoking habit with a healthier attitude. There are numerous exercises which focus on the strengthening the lungs. It also helps to create a balance in the body to overcome the cravings. Surya Namaskar, Bhujangasana, Balasana, Garudasana, Bakasana, Utthita Parsvakonasana are some of the yoga postures that aim at opening of the chest muscles and upper back. The yogic postures along with proper breathing techniques are an excellent tool to beat the smoking habit and to combat the stress after quitting smoking. Most yoga postures are restorative in nature that heal and turn on the relaxation response of the body to support your efforts in curbing this deadly habit.
Exercises for constipation relief
A few quitters experience constipation as one of the tobacco withdrawal symptoms for a brief period. Along with adding enough roughage to the diet, there are exercises that focus on the intestines to move the bowels and significantly reduce the symptoms of constipation. Jump roping for about 30 minutes a day increases the blood flow including the intestines. A rebounder is also helpful to stimulate the intestines and the colon walls to relieve you of constipation. Brisk walking and squats are also effective in helping the bowels move. Abdominal exercises such as pelvic tilts, leg slides, and abdominal curls tones the abdominal walls and prevents constipation.
Exercises for better sleep
The absence of nicotine in the body causes sleep disturbances once you stop smoking. While some may suffer from sleeplessness others may find themselves sleeping more than usual. This lasts for about two weeks after which the sleeping pattern returns to normalcy. Sleep disturbance can further cause mood swings and physical exhaustion. Few moderately intensive exercises such as jumping rope, dancing, walking, jogging, stationary bike, treadmill are effective in beating insomnia. Try exercising four to six hours before your bedtime to ensure that you feel tired and sleepy. You can also use breathing and relaxation techniques to fill your lungs with fresh air. This helps the brain and the body to unwind and induces sleep naturally. The exercises and techniques must be followed or practiced on a regular basis for effective results.
Aerobic exercises for better brain health
Nicotine keeps the smokers alert and awake. Once there is a drastic cut of nicotine in the body, it becomes difficult to focus and concentrate, causing physical fatigue. Eating energizing foods, keeping the body hydrated and a good amount of exercise helps to beat this withdrawal symptom. Researches indicate that aerobic exercises such as running and jogging promote the growth of brain cells and improve the cognitive capacity of a person. Rowing, walking, swimming, cycling, running and jumping rope are some of the aerobic exercises that keep the brain healthy and active. Regular aerobic exercises accelerate the supply of oxygen and blood to all the parts of the body, thus keeping the brain sharp and alert.
Workouts for depression
Nicotine has antidepressant qualities which triggers the release of dopamine hormone into the brain. This chemical has a vital role in keep the mood cheerful and positive. However, when you quit smoking, the levels of dopamine falls which provokes feelings of depression. Studies suggest that exercise is effective in reducing mild and moderate depression. Even a simple fifteen minutes of exercise per day is known to have shown significant results in combating depression. Focus on low intensity exercises, such as yoga, stretching, and exercise ball workout, helps to beat any anxiety or stress. Less intensive exercises make you feel fresh and energized. Keep your goals simple and practice exercises that are less daunting and enjoyable.
Vigorous exercises to beat anxiety
As it is a big and important change in life, it may be difficult for you to cope without smoking. Restlessness, irritation, anger, provocation to the slightest reasons are some of the common symptoms that you may experience during the initial days after quitting smoking. Researches indicate that moderate to intensive exercising of about thirty minutes a day is very effective in reducing anxiety. Running, lifting, playing basket ball, cycling are some of the exercises that help to improve anxiety symptoms. Make sure you enjoy the exercises and set easy and reasonable goals. Among the physical benefits, exercising also has many emotional benefits. It helps to gain confidence, gives opportunity for social interaction, keeps you away from worries and helps to manage anxiety symptoms in a healthy and natural way.
Exercises to reduce headaches
One of the common symptoms among most people who quit smoking is to experience headaches. The body takes a while to return the depleted levels of oxygen to normalcy. You may feel dizzy or have a headache due to the surge in the levels of oxygen in the body.
Deep breathing exercises help to balance the oxygen levels and normalize the breathing pattern. This can, in turn, relieve you of the headache pain. Neck exercises such as a neck rotation or retraction exercise can also help in relieving the symptom. You can also prevent headaches with shoulder shrugs. This involves bringing the shoulder blades up and down. You can also retract the shoulders by holding the shoulder blades together for few seconds before releasing them.
Keep the weight away with exercises
Nicotine suppresses hunger and appetite without the presence of which there is a significant increase in appetite and hunger. You may end up eating more than usual, ending up with slight gain of weight. You can expect to add five to ten pounds over a period of time. Eating a balanced diet with moderate amounts of exercise is helpful in burning those calories. After quitting smoking, the body experiences slower metabolism which means slower burn of calories. Hence, exercise revs up the metabolism and burns the additional calories. Aerobic, anaerobic and moderately intensive exercises can help you get back in shape.
Relieve the stress with simple exercises
The recovery phase, where the body heals without the presence of nicotine and a host of other chemicals, causes stress to the body. This may lead to physical and emotional symptoms that are temporary and can be quite uncomfortable. Along with appropriate lifestyle changes, including exercise as part of the daily regimen is quite effective in coping with the stress. If you are new to exercising, start the regimen with 15 minutes of walking which can be slowly increased to thirty minutes of moderately intensive exercises such as push ups, triceps dips, crunches and squats.