16 May 2012

How to quit smoking and get fit today

Quitting smoking is no easy task. It calls for every last bit of will power and determination at your disposable and then some.
But do what you must to quit smoking before it's too late; especially for your cardiovascular and cardiorespiratory health. Quitting tobaccoand exercising is a healthy combination, which will help you in staying fit and healthy for the rest of your life. Today, with the help of expert inputs from Dr. Prakash Chandra Gupta, Director of Healis - Sekhsaria Institute for Public Health, we take a look at how you can quit smoking and get fit today.

Quit plan. As with most activities, drawing up a plan and then following it, is the best technique for success. Cigarette smoking creates a chemical dependency wherein the body develops a need for a certain level of nicotine at all times due to which it is very important to have a set plan of action for quitting smoking. All aspects of your addiction should be considered before putting together a comprehensive fool-proof quit plan.
- Number of cigarettes smoked per day.
- Places preferred while smoking.
- Activities associated while cigarette smoking (Tea breaks, talking on phone, driving etc.).
- Number of smokers in your social circle/friends/family members.
Set a quit date. Once you have identified your addiction pattern and triggers, it's time to set a quit date. One might want to choose a day to quit smoking that has an extra special meaning as it can make the act of quitting smoking even more successful. This can also serve as motivation.
Involve friends and family. Your social circles need to know that you are changing your habits so talk about your decision to quit and ask for their support - way ahead. This social group, like friends, family, work colleagues etc. can be extremely helpful and inspiring for successfully quitting the habit and keeping you motivated throughout the 12 week span.
Avail Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT). The body begins to go through withdrawal symptoms when it is unable to get its daily dose of nicotine. People who are trying to quit tobacco usage experience various physical withdrawal symptoms like sweating, headache, nausea, constipation and other intestinal disorders. Also psychological withdrawal symptoms can be explained as irritability, anxiety, depression, frustration, insomnia or mental vagueness.
NRT products provide a small dose of therapeutic clean nicotine to the body which is sufficient to help control cravings for cigarettes and other withdrawal symptoms that smokers experience when they quit. This is a WHO recognized technique that provides a highly effective support system for helping to quit tobacco.
Research shows that it takes up to 12 weeks for the nicotine receptors in your brain to switch off when you quit, as tobacco dependence is caused by the very addictive drug, nicotine and its ability to produce pleasurable chemicals like (dopamine, endorphins, etc.). A complete course of NRT products taken up to 12 weeks can help the smoker break free from his addiction toembrace a healthier life. NRT products should be used as intended since it is a therapy that produces results when used properly.
Quitting tobacco for total fitness. Once an individual undergoes these 12 weeks therapy and quits smoking, he would be on his way to embrace a healthier life which would in turn have a positive effect on his entire physical system.
- Quitting tobacco helps in improving breathing functions. A better respiratory system equals to a higher stamina and thus, a better workout.
- Tobacco users tend to take a long time to recover from injuries and are more prone to illnesses. Ditching tobacco can improve your recovery time to injuries and also strengthen your immune system.
- High tobacco use can lead to poor blood circulation, along with easy fatigue, muscle weakness and reduced physical performance.
- One can also lead a stress-free life, after quitting tobacco. Thus, it helps in improving circulation and keeping you focused for exercising.
- Soon after you quit smoking, it is strongly recommended that you should start exercising. This will help in channelising your energy in a positive direction and thus, control urges.

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