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.
Areas trained: SHOULDERS, TRICEPS
* 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
PRESS-UP SHOULDER TAP
Areas trained: CHEST, TRICEPS, CORE
* 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
* 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
Areas trained: CORE, LOWER BACK, GLUTES, HAMSTRINGS, SHOULDERS
* 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
* 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
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