How Exercise Can Help You Quit Smoking

On May 31st each year has been remark as the "World No Tobacco Day" (WNTD), on this significant day, we would like to take the opportunity to encourage everyone to stop smoking for the better health.  Workout more and you can quit smoking easier.  Here are the reasons how.

First of all, we must have clear understanding how cigarettes effect our body?

Chemicals in tobacco i.e. Nicotine and carbon monoxide can harm your blood cells and vessels. They can cause and accelerate atherosclerosis, a disease in which plaque builds up in and narrows your arteries. This limits the flow of oxygen-rich blood to your organs and other parts of your body, making exercise harder. Reduced oxygen to the blood. The tar in cigarette smoke builds up inside the lungs as it is inhaled and carried into the bloodstream and begin moving to other parts of your body. One of the main reasons for the smokers to feel tired is that their body may not be receiving enough oxygen due to the damages caused by the cigarette smoke.

What happens after you quit smoking?

After 12 hours without a cigarette, the body cleanses itself of the excess carbon monoxide from the cigarettes. The carbon monoxide level returns to normal, increasing the body's oxygen levels. The lung function can improve.

The main factors exercise can help us to quit smoking are-:

Exercise is known to reduce nicotine withdrawal symptoms. It can help curb nicotine cravings and withdrawal symptoms such as irritability, stress, and poor concentration. Exercise also increases some of the same mood-enhancing brain chemicals that nicotine boosts.

  • Several studies show that short periods of physical activity, especially aerobic exercise, reduce the urge to smoke.
  • Exercise decreases appetite and helps limit the weight gain some people have when they quit smoking.
  • Another direct impact of exercise regularly is helping your breathing becomes easier and energy levels increase within 72 hours of quitting.
  • One significant research shown that women who has quit smoking and exercise more can greatly reduce the risk of lung cancer than those who quit smoking and do not exercise.

Say No to Tobacco

Above information clearly proves that smoking is strongly effect to our health. The goal that everyone should do is permanently quit smoking and start to do exercises for better health. You can start changing your habit by reducing the number of cigarettes along with increasing exercise.  When we start exercising, not only helping to quit smoking easier but your body will be able to exercise effectively, less tiring and will improve your personality.

Quit smoking, rest more, eat well along with your regular exercise will help improve your health for healthier and happier life.


AIA Vitality members can earn 1,000 Vitality Points/year by being a non-smoker or not smoking for at least 3 months and complete the Non-Smoker’s Declaration online. Learn more


About the Writer

Nol Allapach Na Pombhejara (Coach Mickey) is an athlete, a model and a sport scientist.  He also is a former coach for Thai women's national rugby team.

With a degree in Exercise and Sport Science from Oregon State University and a master degree in Strength and Conditioning from Edith Cowan University, he has deep knowledge on fitness and nutrition and good excercise advices to share with all AIA VItality members.



Physical Activity & Smoking. Center of Addiction and Mental Health.

Hassandra, M., Goudas, M., & Theodorakis, Y. Exercise and Smoking: A Literature Overview. Scientific Research Publishing. 7. 2015.

Lee, K.C.-L. Effects of Cigarette Smoking on Exercise Performance and Heart Rate Variability. International Journal of Women's Health. 5. 2013.

Linke, S.E., Ciccolo, J.T., Ussher, M., & Marcus, B.H. Exercise-based Smoking cessation interventions among women. Womens Health (Lond). 9. 2013.

Papathanasiou, G., Mamali, A., Papafloratos, S., & Zerva, E. Effects of Smoking on Cardiovascular Function: The Role of Nicotine and Carbon Monoxide. Health Science Journal. 8. 2014.

Ussher, M.H., Taylor, A., & Faulkner, G. Exercise interventions for smoking cessation. The Cochrane Collaboration. 2008.

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