Exercise can even benefit smokers


Cancerous lung. Picture is in the public domain

Think smokers are doomed to a shorter life span due to lung cancer, emphysema, or heart disease? Well, you are right, generally speaking.

Nevertheless, even smokers can lower their disease risk if they exercise. It appears to lower the lung cancer risk of smokers according to our friends at the American Association for Cancer Research:

PHILADELPHIA – In a study of more than 36,000 women, researchers observed that smokers can reduce their risk of developing lung cancer by being physically active. However, they strongly caution that any relative benefit is dwarfed by the benefits gained from quitting smoking.

(Emphasis mine)

This is good news, though the researchers behind this study can’t emphasize enough(and I can’t emphasize enough) that smokers should make every effort to quit smoking. That is vastly more beneficial than exercising while continuing to smoke. So if you do smoke, exercise more, exercise as much as possible, but do this while also trying to quit. Who knows, the exercise may even help you quit by helping you to rewire your brain. In my personal experience, smokers who were the most physically active were more likely to quit than sedentary smokers.

If your last effort to quit failed, try something new. Try juggling, try swimming, try aversion therapy, try yoga(but not “Smoga”, look it up on Youtube, it’s sick and ridiculous).

Good luck to you if you’re a smoker or are close to someone who is.

4 responses to “Exercise can even benefit smokers

  1. Great point for those that believe that you cant improve your health if you don’t completely abstain from your bad habits. I don’t personally smoke but my father did before he died at a very early age from a stroke and it was so hard to get him to quit but knowing this maybe if he had worked out things could have been different. I’m currently suffering from pre diabetes and it’s the small changes that are making all the difference in my health. Most importantly when I exercise I feel more level headed and reminds me of the importance of taking care of my body.

  2. Thank you for your comments, Elizabeth. I am sorry for your loss. I’m sure your father would be very proud of you.

    I’m sorry you are suffering from pre-diabetes, and I hope that all those small changes add up to a big improvement in your condition. I hope you have a good doctor.

    As far as bad habits go, you are right. No one is perfect, and we shouldn’t let an inability to overcome bad habits stop us from adopting good, healthy habits, as “contradictory” as it may seem. I often like to think that if we adopt enough life-affirming habits, we can squeeze out just about all the bad ones from our lives. This doesn’t always work for me, but it’s a work in progress; we are “perfect” in our imperfections, as some friends say. Or “Our virtues are our vices in disguise” as de Rochefoucauld once said.

    I’ve never smoked or had any problems with drugs luckily, and neither do my parents. I’m sure you can overcome your condition; the solutions need to be uniquely you.

    Best of health to you, and thanks for stopping by!

  3. Most of the males on my dad’s side of family including my dad are smokers.My brother was the silly guy who started smoking at the age of 24! I mean we know better by then not to do things like that but I have been constantly arguing with them to quit. Dad has tried quitting several times but he hops back on the smoking wagon when he gets stressed. Which makes me think you are completely right about trying something else such as yoga, juggling or whatever else works because if stress causes you to smoke there are other avenues to relieve stress. I guess I need to go knocking on my parents door soon about this. Haha thanks 🙂

    • Good luck trying to help your father, brother and other relatives to quit. Have they tried nicotine gum yet? I’m glad you found my post useful, though I am no expert on smoking cessation. It just seems that exercise can help in so many different ways, like with stress reduction.

      I wish you and your parents the best of health, and thank you for coming by!

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