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Fitness Benefits of Quitting Smoking

Want to Improve Your Fitness? Quit Smoking!

Quitting smoking is a great way to improve your overall fitness levels.

But did you know about this fantastic bonus? Exercise can also help to reduce nicotine withdrawal and cravings!

Yes, just by exercising you could reduce withdrawal symptoms like stress, irritability and lack of concentration immediately, and then for up to 30 minutes. And all you need to do is try out the exercise you enjoy – the choice is yours!

Check out the info below that answers some common queries about fitness and exercise after quitting smoking.

Will my lung function improve after quitting?

Yes – in fact, your lung function starts to improve straight away.

From the moment you quit smoking, the tiny lung hairs called cilia regain their ability to do their job of clearing mucous and other debris.

A few months after you quit, you’re likely to notice all sorts of positive changes – such as a reduction in coughing and wheezing, and improved breathing. You’ll also have a reduced risk of getting respiratory infections like bronchitis.

As you start to feel fitter and healthier, you’ll probably feel ready to start exercising or generally being more active.

How soon should I start exercising once I quit smoking?

When you decide to start increasing your level of physical activity after quitting smoking is up to you – some people start exercising before they quit smoking, while others wait until after.

It’s a good idea to aim towards at least half an hour of moderate physical activity on most days.

It’s also advisable to discuss your exercise plans with your doctor, to make sure you’re undertaking the right level of physical activity.

What type of exercise should I be doing after I quit?

Whatever you enjoy! The great thing about exercise is that you can choose any kind of physical activity you feel comfortable with. Hopefully this will make the prospect of exercising after you’ve quit smoking a little less daunting.

If heading to the gym isn’t your cup of tea, iCanQuit has some cheap and cheerful alternatives that might be more appealing!

  • Go for a walk with a friend
  • Walk the dog
  • Take the kids to the park
  • Go for a swim
  • Go surfing
  • Do some gardening
  • Go for a bike ride 
  • Dance


5 Reasons to Start Exercising After You Quit Smoking

If you’re still unsure about getting physical, here are five great reasons to take up exercise after quitting smoking:

1. Exercise releases natural ‘feel good’ chemicals in your brain
2. Exercising can act as a good distraction from cigarette cravings
3. Doing a regular activity can help you to change your old smoking routines, e.g. after dinner you might walk the dog instead of having a smoke
4. Physical activity may help to reduce withdrawal symptoms and cravings
5. Exercise does not have to be expensive – and it can be fun!

Remember, doing some form of activity is better than none at all, so choose something you enjoy and start getting active!

Check It Out

As well as feeling fitter and healthier, quitting smoking can also leave you with a lot of extra money in your pocket!

Learn more about saving money when you quit smoking >

Try It

Rather than exercising on your own, why not ask a friend to join you so you can motivate each other?

For more tips on keeping on track with your quit journey, visit Staying Quit >

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