Weight Control and Smoking Cessation - Physical Activity

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What types of physical activity worked for you while trying to quit smoking?

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Get regular, moderate-intensity physical activity

Regular physical activity may help you avoid large weight gains when you quit smoking. It may also boost your mood and help you feel more energetic. It is likely that you will be able to breathe easier during physical activity after you quit smoking.

Aim to be physically active at a moderate-intensity level (one that makes you breathe harder but does not overwork or overheat you) on most, if not all, days of the week. You can accomplish this by breaking it up into shorter sessionsit does not need to be done all at once. After you quit smoking and are ready to lose weight, you may need to increase the amount of time that you are physically active each day or increase your intensity level to achieve your weight loss goals. The ideas below may help you to be active.

Ideas for Being Active Every Day

  • Use your lunch break to walk around and stretch, or take a walk after dinner.
  • Sign up for a class such as dance or yoga. Ask a friend to join you.
  • Get off the bus one stop early if you are in an area safe for walking.
  • Park the car further away from entrances to stores, movie theaters, or your home.
  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Make sure the stairs are well lit.
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See what others are saying

Comment from: boomer, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: June 04

I am 49 years old and have smoked since I was 15 years old. I was worried about weight gain when I quit smoking, as I struggled with weight when I was young. I started going to the gym four times per week, and watching my calorie intake. Drinking lots of water helped with cravings and appetite. I have been off smoking for 7 months and have lost 10 pounds that I really didn"t need to lose anyway. It takes discipline but it gets easier I found, after 2 weeks.

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