Home Fitness How Quitting Smoking Can Help Enhance Your Yoga Performance

How Quitting Smoking Can Help Enhance Your Yoga Performance

by Harriet Jenkins
Yoga Performance
Yoga Performance
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Yoga is among the best exercises to include in your routine when embarking on a health and wellness journey. For starters, yoga has holistic health benefits, ranging from enhanced strength, balance, and flexibility to improved mood and energy levels. 

To add, a previous post entitled ‘Resources to Start Yoga at Home’ demonstrates how easy it is to kickstart your yoga journey. With abundant resources like YouTube tutorials and online journals, you can begin incorporating yoga into your lifestyle to reap its wide range of benefits.

However, if you truly want to enhance your yoga practice, it takes more than just practicing the asanas (poses) regularly. Boosting your performance involves stopping unhealthy habits, including smoking. Below, we outline how quitting smoking can benefit your yoga sessions, alongside effective strategies for successful smoking cessation.

Workout benefits of quitting smoking

On top of increasing your risk of developing chronic conditions like stroke and heart disease, smoking can impair your ability to exercise and achieve your fitness goals. The toxic chemicals in tobacco smoke can bind to the arteries and affect blood circulation, thus making the heart work extra hard. Smoking cigarettes can also decrease the lung’s capacity to use oxygen effectively.

In fact, a study published in the Frontiers of Public Health explored the relationship between smoking status and physical fitness performance. Findings indicate that active smoking is negatively associated with cardiorespiratory performance and muscular fitness.

In contrast, quitting smoking can have both immediate and long-term benefits on your heart and lung health. Since your heart rate decreases and your blood flow improves within days of quitting, you can better practice yoga without quickly getting tired. Your lung function also improves, allowing you to increase the intensity and duration of your yoga sessions. Thus, the following section highlights practical ways to reduce cigarette consumption and quit altogether.

Strategies for successful smoking cessation

Use tobacco-free alternatives

Quitting cigarettes typically comes with smoking urges and withdrawal symptoms, but you can use tobacco-free alternatives to prevent relapsing and interfering with your wellness journey. Modern nicotine pouches are a viable example, as their oral delivery format means you can use them discreetly at home, in public places like gyms, or generally while on the go. The brand ZYN is currently one of the top pouches in the US, having forecasted a 7-9% growth in profits for 2024 due to increased sales and shipments.

Besides being a high-quality brand, ZYN pouch use can be tailored to your specific needs and preferences. If you prefer a satisfying nicotine experience, ZYN wintergreen nicotine pouches can better ease your cravings and withdrawals through its cool and refreshing burst of flavor. These pouches also contain 6mg of nicotine to suit light to normal smoking history.

Consider nicotine replacement therapy

Besides modern nicotine pouches, you can also consider nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) to reduce withdrawal symptoms and quit more successfully. Traditional forms of NRT range from oral products like gums and lozenges to transdermal patches.

Nicotine patches are your best bet if you want a gradual yet steady release of nicotine throughout the day. This report by Technavio notes that in the global nicotine patch market, the top brands include British American Tobacco’s VELO, whose patches contain high-purity nicotine to remain tobacco-free. Meanwhile, Cardinal Health Inc.’s patches have strengths of up to 21mg for those with more intense nicotine cravings and a heavy smoking history.

Combine yoga with aerobic exercise

While yoga itself is already effective in reducing the stress-related withdrawals of smoking cessation, you can better ensure success in quitting by trying out aerobics. A journal article on Frontiers in Psychiatry found that both yoga and aerobic exercise can significantly reduce negative moods and tobacco cravings among smokers struggling with nicotine dependence. 

Examples of aerobic workouts you can complement with yoga include running, cycling, and swimming. Besides aiding your quitting journey, these exercises also boost your cardiovascular fitness and, by extension, your yoga performance.

As you make changes in your lifestyle by quitting smoking, don’t be afraid to seek support from family and friends to better motivate you in reaching your health and wellness goals. Continue reading Wellthy Fit for more practical advice and resources.

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