Exercise and Nicotine Cravings

The journey towards being a non-smoker is fraught with great challenges. If you have tried quitting this unhealthy habit, hurdles such as overwhelming nicotine cravings and withdrawal symptoms have most likely forced you to give in to your smoking desires time and again; putting you right back where you started.

But, your next attempt to quit smoking might just work! Apparently, some physical exercises have a way of getting your nicotine cravings lower so that you can finally succeed in overcoming the urge to light up. Our personal trainer friends over at Woodlands Strength & Conditioning have provided us with some helpful information on the positive effects of exercise on nicotine cravings.

A Brisk Treadmill Workout Can Help

One of the most effective ways to control nicotine cravings through exercise is to hop on the treadmill, or better yet, go out for a brisk walk immediately you start to feel the cravings. Many studies have been done on the effect of this exercise on the nicotine urge, and most indicate that it is one of the most effective workouts for people who want to use exercises as a way to successfully quit smoking.

Long Physical Workouts are Very Effective

Research has shown that when you decide to workout just when the cigarette cravings set in, it is important that you engage in a workout that lasts longer. Intensity is not as significant an issue as the length of the workout. Generally, the longer you workout, the longer the nicotine cravings and the withdrawal symptoms will stay away.

For instance, a 15-minute, low-intensity workout can suppress nicotine cravings for about 50 minutes. Some workouts will only keep the cravings gone for about 10 minutes. So, as long as you can keep the session going for longer, the cravings will be gone for a meaningful amount of time.

Even Stretching Exercises Can Lower The Smoking Urge

Lets face it, it is not always practical to do a demanding workout whenever the urge to smoke strikes you. But, the good news is that even a low intensity workout such as stretching can do the trick and help you curb your smoking urge. So, if you are at work and you feel like smoking, you can stretch a little and successfully put off the smoking urge. Point being, you do not always have to break a sweat to avoid the desire to smoke. This also means that some low-impact yoga would be a great way to avoid picking up a cigarette after a nicotine craving.


Letting go of the desire to smoke can be extremely difficult, especially after years of regular smoking. Fortunately, exercise can help you control your nicotine cravings and the associated withdrawal symptoms. This means you can finally control your smoking, and not the other way round. Essentially, the workouts to go for are those that last longer, intensity is not the main concern here.

As a matter of fact, you just need to avoid being passive when a cigarette craving strikes by doing simple exercises such as stretching. Of course some of these workouts can be a little complex or unsafe for self-experimentation, which is why you should consider using personal training sessions at the gym to handle them better.

Share This