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7 Healthy Alternatives To Smoking Cigarettes That Actually Work

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Trying to quit smoking can prove to be a challenge. Especially if you have been on it for years.

Here are a few ways to help you stay strong against smoking.

1. Get Distracted

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If you are very new to quitting, a lot of things can tempt you to reach out to a cigarette. Getting yourself distracted is one way to tackle it. Try a new hobby, learn a new language, get hooked onto dancing, pick up painting, go for a movie, or even talk to friends. Find something that distracts you and keeps you focused in the present. Replace all the energy, time, and money you spent on cigarettes with something else that keeps you happy. So, if you have the urge to pick up a cigarette, pick up your guitar and strum away!

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2. Drop And Do 20!

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Exercise can help you to stay away from cigarettes. The more you exercise, the fitter you begin to feel, and you would soon see smoking for what it really is: unhealthy and dangerous. Start doing regular physical activities like cycling, swimming, or walking. Make it part of your lifestyle. Begin with low intensity activities for short durations. If you think you are going to reach for a cigarette, go jogging or do push ups instead.

One study claims that aerobic exercise has the potential to mitigate the adverse effects of smoking on arterial stiffness.1

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3. Meditation Can Support You

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Meditation has the power to de-stress people and helps them with self-control. Mindfulness meditation can help you build reactions to your cravings. In one study, half of the respondents who practiced meditation for two weeks halved their cigarette consumption without even realizing it.2

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4. Load Up On Fruits And Vegetables

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One of the biggest challenges with quitting smoking is nicotine addiction. You can reduce your cravings by increasing your intake of citrus rich fruits and nutrient dense veggies. One study says the people who consumed fruits and vegetables 4 or more times a day were able to resist smoking three times more than people who consumed very little. You could increase your intake with tomatoes, berries, broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage.

If you have the urge to light up a cigarette, munch on a carrot instead. The taste of the carrot should cancel out your smoke craving.

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5. Yoga Can Do Wonders

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Yoga was found to help smokers to quit the addiction.3 Especially for people who tend to smoke during stress or when they felt overwhelmed. Yoga helps you to relax and feel settled inside, while bringing up your health, and getting into shape. Some poses that will help you are Kapal Bhati pranayama, Nadi Shodhan pranayama, Bhujanagasana, Setu Bandhasana, Shishuasana, and Shavasana.

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6. Get On The Gum

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Besides a nicotine rush, smokers find it hard to let go of cigarettes because they love having to do something with their mouths. Oral fixation could be a problem for people who just decided to quit smoking. The best replacement would be to simply chew gum. Get on a sugar free gum. This will help balance the acidity in your mouth as well.

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7. Indulge In Dark Chocolate

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Treat yourself for being strong. Dark chocolate is a great way to feel good on the inside. When you smoke, your body reacts by releasing dopamine. This chemical makes you feel happy and satisfied. Eating dark chocolate meets the same emotional results as that of a cigarette. Dark chocolate is rich in iron, manganese, and magnesium. It was also found that dark chocolate reduces the chances of cardiovascular diseases. But it’s not a good idea to overdo it since it’s heavy on calories!

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References   [ + ]

1. Park, Wonil, Motohiko Miyachi, and Hirofumi Tanaka. “Does aerobic exercise mitigate the effects of cigarette smoking on arterial stiffness?.” The Journal of Clinical Hypertension 16, no. 9 (2014): 640-644.
2. Tang, Yi-Yuan, Michael I. Posner, Mary K. Rothbart, and Nora D. Volkow. “Circuitry of self-control and its role in reducing addiction.” Trends in cognitive sciences 19, no. 8 (2015): 439-444.
3. Bock, Beth C., Joseph L. Fava, Ronnesia Gaskins, Kathleen M. Morrow, David M. Williams, Ernestine Jennings, Bruce M. Becker, Geoffrey Tremont, and Bess H. Marcus. “Yoga as a complementary treatment for smoking cessation in women.” Journal of Women’s Health 21, no. 2 (2012): 240-248.