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How to Reverse the Effects of Smoking

If you have ever smoked you probably know just how difficult it is to quit smoking, but did you know just how much a good exercise program can aid in reversing the damaging effects of smoking? When you engage in a complete fitness program there are a host of benefits that you can attain that will even reverse the damaging effects of smoking, no matter how long you have smoked.

Below is a timetable of the average benefits experienced when one quits smoking and the added benefits of a balanced fitness regime.

2 Weeks to 3 Months After Quitting: Your circulation and lung function begin to improve.

>> A strong exercise program will cut this time in half or more. It will also drastically improve circulation and the elimination of toxins.

9 Months After Quitting: Coughing and shortness of breath are reduced. The lungs' functions are improved by nearly ten percent.

>> Although coughing and shortness of breath will be felt more acutely at first, the effects you feel diminish remarkably fast when engaging in a balanced strenuous exercise program. Lung function can be improved upwards of 50%, depending on the individual.

1 Year After Quitting: Your risk of coronary heart disease is reduced to half of what it was when you smoked.

>> Smoking causes the hardening of arteries and plaque buildup. Normally it takes around a year of being smoke free to reduce by half the risk you run of coronary heart disease. With a balanced exercise program that includes a solid nutritional plan, this can be done in as little as one to two months.

10 Years After Quitting: Your chances of dying from lung cancer are now half of what it would have been had you continued to smoke. Your risk of getting cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, cervix, and pancreas has also decreased.

>> It is entirely possible within a much shorter span of time to almost eliminate your chances of dying from lung cancer, or cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, cervix and pancreas. A balanced exercise program in addition to a nutritional plan not only decreases the risk of these deadly diseases but it boosts the body's immunity and defense systems to help protect from other diseases as well.

There are several factors that need to be understood in order to achieve the desired results. First lets address what a balanced fitness regime consists of. A balanced fitness regime consists of several integral parts:

>> A solid nutritional plan - This is an essential part of any fitness plan. Eating the correct foods will help to detoxify the body of deadly chemicals deposited from smoking. In addition, the correct foods can heal tissue, destroy free radicals, boost the immune system, and help to protect against every single disease that exists! A solid nutritional plan will help to lower cholesterol and blood pressure and chances of a stroke, or heart disease.

>> A complete workout regime - Contrary to popular belief, a complete workout regime is not simply lifting weights, or taking a jog. In order to receive the maximum benefit to counter act the effects of smoking a workout plan must contain total body exercises that work all planes of motion, stretching, foam rolling, interval training, static holds and correct breathing. The reasoning behind this list is that each of these items will aid in increasing blood flow, eliminating toxic materials at accelerated rates, improving oxygen consumption, improving nutrient assimilation, lowering cholesterol and blood pressure, improving lung function and improving and retraining the cardiovascular system.

A balanced fitness and nutritional regime will enable you to eliminate the dreaded weight gain that comes with quitting smoking!

Although quitting is always the best option, there are several benefits can be enjoyed from implementing a balanced nutritional and fitness regime while continuing to smoke. Smoking increases tissue inflammation, narrowing airways and allowing less oxygen to the body. Since working muscles need more oxygen, this results in less strength and energy during exercise. However, studies have shown that even though the body is under constant attack from the toxins in smoke, exercise can still improve overall fitness and sometimes lower chances of certain cancers like lung cancer. Although smoking increases the risk of the disease, exercise seems to provide a protective effect.

In a 2006 study published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention, women who were current or former smokers and had high levels of physical activity were less likely to develop lung cancer than those who were more sedentary.

Another study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, examined the effects of smoking cessation and exercise. It found some fitness improvements after only a week. Eleven men who smoked about a pack a day for at least 3 years were subjected to several tests while on a stationary bike before quitting, and then a week later. Oxygen concentration considerably increased, and exercise time was greatly extended.

The most significant changes to your health can be seen after you have quit smoking. Once you have stopped, the body no longer requires precious energy and nutrients to protect damaged tissue and work at continuously detoxifying the body. This energy can now be used to aid the body in fighting illness, boosting metabolism to lose weight, boosting the immune system, and correcting problems that smoking has caused.