We all know that quitting smoking is a challenge to overcome and it might be difficult for some people to achieve it. Smokers may need help from internal or external sources to be able to quit smoking for good. There are different strategies to make it. One of these strategies is the practice of a sport.
Cigarettes and sport are incompatible
As suspected, sport practising and smoking do not mix well. Worse still, using tobacco and sports practising might increases cardiovascular risk. Indeed, the combination of tobacco and sport increases the number of sudden deaths due to heart attacks. In fact, on the physiological level, nicotine causes an increase in heart rate and oxygen consumption. Additionally, carbon monoxide replaces oxygen in red blood cells and muscle. This last harmful effect can cause what is called hypoxia, a lack of oxygen in the body.
According to an article, the many consequences include shortness of breath, increased heart rate and fatigue. Besides, the combination of tobacco and sport results in poor recovery and faster onset of cramps, as well as a high risk of heart attack — especially for people over 40 years. Moreover, this being the least of all problems, it is evident that the result of this behaviour will be a decrease in performance.
The benefits of sport on smoking cessation
If sport and tobacco do not go well together, getting some physical activity back on can have real benefits during the process of quitting smoking. Practising a sport allows you to set goals, it helps you to think about something else, enables you to take care of your body and mind, to feel proud of yourself and to limit the risk of gaining weight. A French report underlines that smoking can be stopped and prevented through sport. Indeed, any physical activity makes possible the following:
- First of all, an increase in your motivation, for the simple reason that the observation of declining physical performance and perceived difficulties are contrary to the athlete's objectives. These harmful impact of tobacco use on regular physical activities are why 44% of athletes decide to stop smoking. Also, the awareness of significant health risks is motivation as well.
- Secondly, sport helps to prevent a relapse. Indeed, it reduces physical dependence on nicotine with its physical and psychological effects, including withdrawal symptoms.
Subsequently, another study on women to determine the impact of physical exercise on smoking cessation showed that group of women who quit smoking while playing a sport were three times more successful at one year than the control group. For instance, about 15 minutes of physical activity has a rapid and measurable effect on smoking cravings and withdrawal symptoms.
The practice of a sport is proven to be a real solution in the fight against smoking.
Tips for getting back into a sport activity
Being physically active again is a good resolution not only to stop smoking, but also more generally for your physical health and well-being. However, a few conditions must be met. Avoid starting an intense activity seeking for high-level performance. During the withdrawal period, you must moderate your activity. A steady 30-minute walk, three times a week, is an excellent example to start with. For the other, more physically demanding sports, advance gradually increase your efforts, do not force all at once.
Quitting smoking is within everyone's reach! The important thing is to keep up your motivation, and the practice of physical activity will allow you to do it more effectively while bringing you many benefits on your physical and mental health. However, if this practice is not enough to fill your needs and encourage you, download Kwit!