9 exercises to revitalise your body and keep you focused on quitting smoking.

Having access to all the high-tech equipment of any one of Australia's 3,400 gyms, health clubs and fitness centers is great. But what about those times when you don’t have an hour or more to go there for a formal workout – but still are yearning for a bit of a workout?

According to cancer.org you might have a lot of pent-up energy while trying to quit and stay tobacco-free.

Are there exercises you can do in the comfort of your own home? Yes indeed! Here are some great ones.

Nine Simple Practices To Harmonize Your Body & Mind

Take a walk around the block. A ten or fifteen minute walk outside not only gives you the opportunity to be nourished by fresh air and sunshine (or a beautiful after-the-storm rainbow) but can also – if your pace is brisk – be a sweet little cardio workout. And if you prefer a slower gait, a quiet stroll up and down the street can become a bona fide walking meditation.

Notice how much better you can breathe as each day passes without smoking. It helps to be aware of your triggers, to learn how you can replace certain unhealthy habits with positive ones. Perhaps you suffer from insomnia? You become restless, find it hard to sleep and start craving a cigarette. Instead of smoking try any of these quick exercises to help with tension and calm the nervous system. Click the link below to discover what your triggers could be: 

Smoking Triggers

Have A Ten-Minute Dance Party. Put on your favorite music. Put on your dancing shoes (or enjoy the feel of bare feet and wiggling toes). Let your body move, expressing joy, rapture, playfulness or sadness – whatever needs to be expressed. Notice how much better you feel afterwards – because dancing is not only an art form, but also a form of exercise. Yes!

Put Your Legs Up The Wall. When you have a case of “climbing the walls” – i.e. agitated nervousness or tension – there's nothing better than spending ten minutes or so with your legs up the wall. Here’s how: Sit down on the floor, as close to a wall as possible. Then relax your torso down onto the floor while at the same time swinging your legs up, so they're leaning against the wall. The idea is to get your bottom as close to the wall as possible, though it doesn't need to be touching. Extend your arms out to the side, and relax here for ten minutes or so. Ahh …

Interlace Your Hands Behind Your Head. A great way to relieve neck, shoulder and upper back tension (i.e. the kind you get sitting at a computer for a bit too long) is to do this: Lie down on the floor, face up, with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Interlace your fingers behind your head -- right where your skull meets your neck -- kind of like you were preparing to do sit-ups. But instead, just hang out and relax in this position, letting your elbows drop toward the floor, while breathing deeply to gently expand your upper chest and back.

Head-Neck-Face Revitalizing Self-Massage. Rub your hands together for several seconds, to generate heat between your palms. Then gently stroke the skin of your face with your palms – moving them up over your eyes and down over your ears and neck. Repeat this circular motion ten to twenty times. End by cupping your warm palms over your eyes, allowing them to relax deeply.

The reason is simply that if you can replace your smoking habits with a healthy habit, you will change your behaviour and then you will be LESS likely to go back to smoking in the future.

Heart & Belly Reconnect. Stand up, with your feet hip distance apart. Place the palm of one hand gently on the center of your chest. Place the other palm gently on your lower abdomen (on or slightly below the navel). Imagine that in each of these two bodily centers (chest and belly) there’s a pool of (infinitely intelligent!) liquid light. Imagine using the movement of your breath to create a river of light joining the heart-pool to the belly-pool: like a river joining two lakes.

Bring Awareness To Your Breathing. Follow the movement of your breath, for ten rounds, like this: As you inhale, notice that you're inhaling. As you exhale, say (either out loud or internally) the word “one.” As you inhale again, notice that you're inhaling. As you exhale, say the word “two.” Continue in this fashion until you've counted ten breaths. If your mind wanders, start again at one.

Tree Drawing Sap. Stand with your feet hip distance apart. As you inhale, sweep your arms wide and up toward the ceiling – imagining that you are a tree drawing sap upward through its roots. As you exhale, release your arms gently back to your sides. Repeat ten to twenty times.

Remind yourself that by repeating these simple exercise at home will help you to create new habits and a non-smoking environment around you. 

Modified Downward Dog Pose. Place a straight-backed chair with its back against a wall (to anchor it safely). Now place the palms of your hands on the seat on the chair, and step your legs back, so your spine is parallel to the floor, like a table. Reach forward through your fingers as you draw your hips in the opposite direction, lengthening your spine fully. As you become more flexible, you can place your hands on a lower surface, or perhaps all the way onto the floor, in the classic yoga pose, downward dog.

Way to go!

Want to learn more? Download the '13 Seldom Talked About Smoking Triggers'to find out what might be causing you to smoke. 

Smoking Triggers