If You Want to Quit Smoking, Do This First
I believe the “secret” to quitting smoking is to get healthy first, which will make quitting much easier. Exercising is part and parcel of this plan, as research shows people who engage in regular strength training double their success rate at quitting smoking compared to those who don’t exercise. Healthy eating is another crucial aspect that can’t be ignored. In short, if you want to quit, here are the three basic tips to get you started:
- Read through my comprehensive free nutrition plan to get started eating right.
- Develop a well-rounded exercise regimen. It is your ally to fighting disease and to quitting smoking.
3. Strength training is an important part, but also remember to incorporate high- intensity interval exercises like Peak Fitness, core-strengthening exercises, stretching and regular non-exercise movement (like walking and cutting back on sitting).
This can help clear out emotional blockages from your system (some of which you might not even realize are there), thus restoring your mind and body’s balance and helping you break the addiction and avoid cravings.
Once you are regularly doing these three things, then you can begin to think about quitting smoking. At this point many are ready to try quitting “cold turkey.” If you need a distraction, these six things to do instead of smoking may help. Finally, if you’re a parent, talk with your children about the risks of smoking, smokeless tobacco, and e-cigarettes. The easiest pathway to not smoking is to avoid starting in the first place.
Six Things to Do Instead of Smoking
If you’re thinking of quitting, read below for the three steps you should take first. But when you’re ready, the following strategies, recently posted by TIME,3 may help, especially in the early days and hours:
- Chew carrots: A healthy snack can help you beat nicotine cravings (and the urge to bring something to your mouth). Carrots, celery, radishes, bell pepper slices, and other fresh veggies would all work for this purpose.
- Distract yourself: Surround yourself with people who are supportive of your choice to quit and who can help take your mind off of cravings.
- “Snap” your cravings away: Wear a rubber band around your wrist and snap it if you’re considering giving in to a craving. The sting will distract you and give you a moment to remember all of the reasons why you’re quitting.
- Exercise: Exercise helps fight addictions by releasing natural feel-good endorphins and easing stress and anxiety.
- Take a shower: This is another calming distraction, plus when you feel clean and fresh, you’ll be less likely to want to light up.
- Listen to music: Take your mind off of cravings with your favorite relaxing tunes, or put on an upbeat tune and dance to celebrate your new “smoke-free” self.
- One other thing you can try is watch Allen Carr’s easy way to stop smoking video on youtube.