Hypertension
16 May 2017
Winter sports outdoors in cold weather
23 January 2018

Smoking and physical activity

Smoking and physical activity

The last statistics in Quebec (2013-2014) on smoking addiction indicate that 17 % of men and 14 % of women smoke daily [1]. On the other hand, this number tends to decrease each year because of the important publicity campaigns conducted on the harmful effects of smoking.

In theory, to stop smoking is feasible but in practice, the challenge is of size. This is why it is important to use all the good tools to reduce and cross this test for good.

Several studies were carried out to know the effects of physical activity during the first year of stopping smoking. Here is a review of the effects observed from physical activity:

  • when quitting smoking, decreases withdrawal symptoms and increases the ability to maintain
    the decision to quit smoking;
  • improve the symptoms of anxiety, stress and the difficulties connected to sleep;;
  • helps limit weight gain from stopping smoking;
  • increases self-confidence and gives a sense of control that helps maintain cessation;
  • releases endorphins that provide a sense of well-being while decreasing negative and depressed mood.

The effects of the physical-activity on nicotinic weaning and mood are felt quickly at the beginning of physical activity and can continue up to 50 minutes after. The intensity of the activity does not have a great importance on the felt effects. In other words, even an aerobic activity of low intensity (e.g fast walk) gets fast beneficial effects on the symptoms of weaning and mood. Positive aspects of the physical exercise were also observed at the time of certain types of isometric muscle-development
exercises (which consist in contracting the muscles for a certain period of time without changing the length of it).

 

How can physical activity help the symptoms of tobacco weaning?

In terms of withdrawal symptoms, one of the hypotheses raised by the researchers is that physical activity and nicotine act on the same hormones of the brain. Therefore, if lack of nicotine decreases the level of a hormone (eg cortisol) and increases physical activity, the body does not experience the withdrawal symptom.

Besides helping with the symptom of weaning, physical activity increases the metabolism and the caloric expenditure which reduce weight gains at the time of quitting smoking.


Does physical activity replace the pharmaceutical drugs?

People who stopped smoking often say that this moment was one of most difficult of their life. Therefore, once the will is there, the goal is to succeed in passing through the first weeks and first months. From where importance to use all the alternatives which are proposed to you to reach that point (e.g gums with nicotine, etc). Although physical activity is not the ultimate solution, it can obviously bring to you a relief of the symptoms of weaning and get a positive effect on physical and
mental wellness.


I am not very active and start exercising while I stop smoking; it is too difficult…

Indeed, to change its lifestyle and to start moving is not so easy. For this reason it is important to start gradually so that physical activity gets all its benefits to you and not fatal consequences (wounds, discouragement, etc). Being coach by a kinesiologist in order to begin your program according to your capacities is essential. The first meetings will be used to guide you in the execution of your new exercice program. Your kinesiologist will be able to supervise you and to reassure you on your progression and especially help you to remain motivated!

[1] National institute of public health Quebec 2001-2017, Government of Quebec
[https://www.inspq.qc.ca/santescope/syntheses/fumeurs-quotidiens]

Contact Kinik professionals for a specific exercise program for high blood pressure

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *