How working out could help you to quit smoking

If you want to quit smoking, scientists have uncovered a new reason why working out could be your best bet.

SMOKING might hold you back from being your fittest, but if you can push through that wall that smoking puts up when it comes to your workouts, there’s good news: it could help you kick the habit once and for all.

Researchers from the University of Texas at Austin have found that working out three times a week can increase your success of giving up smoking by double, thanks to its positive effects on anxiety and depression. 

The long-term effects were impressive, too: 23% of the exercise group have remained smoke-free compared with 10% from the control group who took wellness sessions.

The sessions were only 25 minutes long but required intense workouts during which the participants achieved a 77-88 % maximum heart rate. 

If you struggle with fitness due to smoking, this might seem tough, but it’ll be worth it.

Try this workout three times a week, maintaining a relatively fast pace throughout and little rest to keep the heart rate high.

How to do it: Perform each move for 45 seconds with 15 seconds’ rest in between. 

At the end, take a minute’s rest then repeat the whole thing again twice.



How working out could help you to quit smoking


* Hold dumbbells at your shoulders and bend your knees to squat slightly.

* Extend your body while using the momentum to push the weights towards the ceiling.

* Slowly lower and repeat.

HOT TIP: Keep the movement fluid from rep to rep without pauses


Areas trained: CHEST, TRICEPS, CORE

How working out could help you to quit smoking


* Start in plank position on your hands.

* Bend your arms to lower your chest to the floor, keeping your body in a straight line throughout.

* Push back up to the start, then tap your left shoulder with your right hand without tilting your hips. Return your hand back to the start, then go into another rep, this time tapping your right shoulder with your left hand. Alternate with each rep.

SAFETY TIP: Keep your tailbone tucked under and don’t let your lower back overarch


Areas trained: GLUTES, THIGHS

How working out could help you to quit smoking


* Bend at the knees and hips to lower your bottom out behind you as low as possible, keeping your heels firmly planted.

* From this position, jump up as high as you can and bring your knees towards your chest.

* Land softly and repeat.

SAFETY TIP: Try not to let your torso fold too far forwards when lowering into the squat



How working out could help you to quit smoking


* Holding a kettlebell in one hand, bend at your hips and knees to lower it between your legs.

* Keeping the kettlebell close to your body throughout, explosively extend your body and drive the kettlebell toward the ceiling, dipping your hips slightly to drop your body underneath it.

* Extend your whole body to finish, then lower and repeat.

Alternate sides with each rep.

SAFETY TIP: Make sure your core is engaged when bent over, to protect your lower back


Areas trained: STOMACH, SIDES

How working out could help you to quit smoking


* Start lying on your back with hands by your temples, then crunch your shoulders off the floor while hovering your feet.

* Twist your body to bring your right elbow across your body as your left knee comes in to meet it.

* Twist in the opposite direction, bringing your left elbow and right knee to meet as you extend the left leg.

* Keep the movement fluid as you rotate from side to side.

HOT TIP: Keep your shoulders as high up off the floor as possible and extended leg as low as possible without touching the floor


Volunteers from the multinational tech company harvest food fresh from Fota Gardens, writes Peter Dowdall.Made in Munster: The tech giant Apple harvesting food from Fota Gardens

Peter Dowdall takes a look at a plant that thrives in damp soil and is a key part of Ireland’s biodiversityThe wonders of willows: A key part of Ireland’s biodiversity

Pollutants can have an impact on your health, but there are things you can do to reduce the potential damage.High pollution days ‘lead to more cardiac arrests and strokes’: 5 easy ways to protect yourself

Even if you only have room for one pot in the smallest space, plant some tulips in it to make your garden spring to life, says Hannah Stephenson.7 design tips to make your tulips in garden pots stand out in a crowd

More From The Irish Examiner