Quitting smoking can be nerve-wracking as it is difficult to fight the powerful urge of smoking. You are likely to get wracked with the stress when you are quitting. The cravings make you anxious and stressed and the best way to overcome this is through a positive substitute that is exercise. Exercise helps you to distract your urges and provide you a source for outlet for your anxiety, depression and stress which ultimately helps choose the kind of exercise that you enjoy. You may get tired easily because of the reduced lung capacity but gradually you will be able to cope with it being regular in exercise. Here are some exercises that will prove to be good reinforcement to your quitting regime.\r\n\r\n1. Breathing exercise\r\n\r\nBreathing exercise will relax you by reducing your stress and urge for smoking. Sit comfortably at some calm place when you feel an urge for smoking. Breathing exercises provide you with a sense of relaxation and so reduces stress. It also helps you to neglect the urge. You can start deep breathing when you want to smoke, this helps you to divert your mind from the craving for cigarettes. Pranayama is also a good option to curb your urge and calm your stress.\r\n\r\n2. Gardening\r\n\r\nWhen you do gardening you get to observe greenery and the flowers help you think positive. It relaxes and refreshes you from inside. Moreover gardening is a good form of mild exercise as you need to sit and stand many a times. You use your upper body also when you dig or water the plants. When you do gardening you get close to nature and receive that calmness within you and the beauty of nature diverts you from the urge of smoking.\r\n\r\n3. Stretching\r\n\r\nStretching is not exactly a form of exercise unless it is done in the ballistic form. Stretching makes you feel your body and allow you to prepare for tougher exercises. It improves your flexibility and posture. Stretching is a great way to avoid injury. You can start your regime with a few minutes of stretching and then later on do stretching for your whole body before and after every exercise session. It helps in getting rid of the stiffness of your body because of which you might be unable to do exercise easily.\r\n\r\n4. Yoga\r\n\r\nYoga is the best way to control your mind, body and soul. It is a great way through which you get a chance to spend time for introspection. Yoga has many poses that brings the circulation and promotes relieving stress. Yoga calms your mind and also tones up your body. It increases lungs capacity and trains your respiratory system to get more from. It helps you to reduce the cravings for smoking and motivates you to remain smoke free for longer period of time. You need to go to a trained yoga instructor or join a yoga class, this helps you do yoga poses without harming yourself.\r\n\r\n5. Pilates\r\n\r\nPilates is a form of exercise less strenuous than yoga. Pilates demands less cardiovascular capacity and can be done by anybody, no matter what their age. Studies say that Pilates can be great help in getting rid of stress. Pilates works on every part of body, it also helps in improving posture. It improves control and general strength and makes you feel younger and energized. It reduces cravings for cigarette and helps you to get a better sense of achievement while quitting.\r\n\r\n6. Walking or jogging\r\n\r\nWalking or jogging is a great way of doing aerobic exercises. It enhances your blood pumping capacity and hence helps your heart to get strengthened. Do not try to go out and run for 30 or 40 minutes on the very day of your start. It is always good to start for few minutes and gradually increase your time with days passing by. Be regular and do at least 20-30 minutes of walking/jogging every day. You need to decide what entertains you more and keeps you absorbed and follow the same.\r\n\r\n7. Jumping jacks\r\n\r\nIt is another form of aerobic exercise that is little bit more strenuous than walking. Jumping jacks demand you to have strong calf muscles to keep you jumping continuously. Jump on your place as high as possible. You can mover your legs front to back and from side to side. Count your jumps or time them. Start from 200 jumps or 2 minute jumps and later you can go up to jumping for 10-15 minutes. If you get bored with jumping jacks you can buy a skipping rope and use it for the prescribed time.\r\n\r\n8. Stair climbing\r\n\r\nIf you don’t like going places for walking/jogging you can try stairs of your own house and use them for exercising. Stair climbing is very strenuous exercise and demands energy more than walking/jogging. Do not jerk your knees while climbing stairs and keep a uniform pace which should not be too slow. You can do stair climbing for 15-20 minutes a day. But keep in mind that whenever you do any form of strenuous exercise, do not neglect the salt and water loss which should be replenished.\r\n\r\n9. Cycling\r\n\r\nIf you like roaming under the sky you can opt for cycling this also entertains you as you go out of your house and see places even while exercising. You can spare special time for cycling every day for about 30-40 minutes. You can also curb the urge by riding you cycle across the city when you feel like smoking which aids in diverting your mind as you get many things while cycling around the city.\r\n\r\n10. Swimming\r\n\r\nWater has a cooling effect, it relaxes you whole body. When you feel the urge if it is possible for you dive in you swimming pool and swim for a while to relax your mind and body. You should swim for about an hour in whole day. Moreover swimming is ideal because water and smoking do not mix. Swimming also helps to improve lung capacity and function as it requires rhythmic breathing.\r\n\r\n11. Aerobics\r\n\r\nIf you search for entertainment you can opt for aerobics exercises. You can join aerobic classes and enjoy moving your body to the beats of the music. It is a fast way to loose your extra pounds and curb you anxiety and stress.\r\n\r\n12. Dance\r\n\r\nDancing is a beautiful form of exercise and a form of expression through which you can express your feelings and emotions. It gives you an artistic form of outlet for your urges and cravings. Dance and music have a soothing effect on your mind and thus help you to gain steadiness. It helps you to control your urge by expressing your pain and stress in the form of dance.\r\n\r\n13. Body weight exercises\r\n\r\nYou can opt for body weight exercises. They make the same demands as on your body as strength training. If you have a busy schedule and you cannot spend time going to gym or other classes you can do push ups, squats or dips. You can also do abs exercises and charge your nervous system. Such exercises release stress relieving hormones, the same as by strength training exercises.\r\n\r\n14. Strength training exercises\r\n\r\nAccording to research, people involved in strength training show better results and achieve success for quitting the habit of smoking. Strength training decreases stress hormones like cortisol and increases ‘feel good’ hormones like endorphins. Thus, they can help you fight the stress and smoking urges. Find a good gym around your locality and always remember to discuss your health problems due to smoking or while exercising with your instructor.\r\n\r\n15. Judo and karate\r\n\r\nThese are very strenuous and intense forms of exercises. Many of you may feel stressed and become aggressive. You can join a judo or karate class and practice it regularly. Judo/karate develops a sense of strength within you. It teaches you to fight against the enemies and while quitting the habit of smoking, the biggest enemy is your urge. Regular practice of judo/karate gives you great full body exercise and calms your stress as it is expelled out through fighting gestures.\r\n\r\n16. Kick boxing\r\n\r\nSame as karate, kick boxing also helps you to fight against smoking urges. It will take a long time for you to reach a level where you can perform these exercises as you would need great amount of strength and endurance to withstand the wear and tear of this exercises.\r\n\r\n17. Sports\r\n\r\nYou can get yourself engaged in sports. Playing sports exercises your body, helps you meet various people and increases your social circle. Playing sports gives you a way to motivate yourself and win against the challenges. Playing sports develops a strong will power and release your anxiety and stress. Playing sports also helps you in strengthening your mind and determination. At the same time, it provides you with a great form of exercise, especially sports like baseball, basketball, football, hockey or tennis that are high in terms of intensity.\r\n\r\nTry different types of exercises and do the best suitable, especially when you feel crave for smoking. Exercise at least 3-4 times per week. Start exercising at a slow pace and gradually increase the intensity. Do take rest when needed between the exercise and do not push you under body too hard. Along with exercise, there are a few dietary and lifestyle changes that you need to follow. It happens that when you suppress the urge for smoke, your urge gets diverted to sweets and oily snacks. It is important to keep these urges in control too in order to avoid gaining extra pounds that may demand you to get indulged you in another regime later on. When you feel like smoking, you can opt for chewing sugar-free gum, salad, popcorn or dry fruits. Drink lots of water to keep hydrated. Bring in variety in your meals but try to eat a balanced diet, and watch your carbohydrate and protein intake. Avoid places that influence you to smoke.\r\n\r\nYou may feel very exhausted in the beginning but with time this will get reduced. You just need to stay determined and motivated till your urge for cigarette smoking subsides. It is always better to consult your doctor before you start any exercise. It is not suggested to neglect any type of medical issues arising from it.