Worried that if you quit smoking you might gain weight or feel tired?
Fight back with exercise! Research shows that teens who quit smoking AND get active
may boost their odds of quitting for good. Here are some tips on how to get moving
Take the stairs
Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
Tip: Walking upstairs burns 7 to 10 cal./min. Walk up the stairs
5 minutes a day for 1 week, and next time you splurge on a candy bar, you’ll have
Make a routine
Try to exercise at the same time each day so it becomes part of your everyday routine.
Tip: Keep a pair of athletic shoes in your locker and hit the track
or gym right after school.
Go the distance
Park further away from the door of your school or places you run errands.
Tip: Download a free pedometer app on your phone and track how
many steps you take each day. Enlist a friend and start a friendly competition!
No really, watch TV—but make it count! Do some exercises in front of the tube.
Tip: Use a 5 pound weight or text book and do some bi-cep curls.
Leg lifts, jumping jacks, push-ups and crunches are also good options.
Exercise doesn't have to mean going to the gym. Turn up your iPod and have a solo
Tip: Make a playlist of your favorite songs that you can crank
up anytime, anywhere, and with anyone!
Enlist a friend to help you stay motivated and make exercise feel like fun (not
Tip: Exercise doesn’t have to feel like work. Walk the halls with
a friend between classes to get your heart rate up.
Like your exercise
Some people like to run, and others like kickboxing. Try different exercises to
find what works for you.
Tip: Check out classes at your local gym like spinning, Zumba,
or yoga (some even have classes just for teens!). No access to a gym? Find free
exercise videos online.
Does your body need better fuel?
Being healthy isn't just about eating more fruits and vegetables. It's a lifestyle.
You don’t have to completely change your life to be healthier. Making simple changes
can help improve your health and overall well-being.
Take care of your body
Sometimes your feelings and emotions can make you want to jump off a cliff into
a warm bowl of cheese dip. We've all been there, but it's important to know what's
happening so you can find other ways to cope when you need it.
Tip: Take a deep breath and a step back. Dealing with tough feelings
is hard. Set the food aside and call a friend, take your dog for a jog, or play
a game on your phone.
More good, less bad
Sometimes it’s hard to know what to eat and how much of it is ok. Focus on building
a healthier plate with more good food choices than bad ones.
Tip: Start by filling half of your plate with fruits and vegetables.
Leave the other half for lean protein and whole grains. Don’t cheat yourself by
piling your plate to the ceiling.
Get your Zzz's
"Plugged in" 24/7? Try not to take your busy day (and gadgets) to bed with you—make
a sleep routine that allows you to "unplug" and get about 8 ½ to 9 ½ hours of sleep.
Tip: Try going to bed and waking up at the same time every day
to get your body on a sleep schedule. And turn your phone off or on silent to make
sure you’re not waking up with every text.
Do you eat when you're not hungry? People eat for lots of reasons other than hunger.
But if you eat when you're not actually hungry, then you’re more likely to gain
Tip: If you have a craving for chips, stop before you open the
bag. Ask yourself if you're really hungry. Wait 5 minutes. If you're still hungry,
go for it! Grab a handful and put the bag away to avoid temptation.
Pack a colorful lunch
Tip: Use darker-colored bread for sandwiches (like whole wheat), add a protein like
lean turkey or tuna, and top it with tomato and lettuce. Finish it with a piece
of fruit, and if you go for a sweet treat, make it bite-size, not king-size!
Don't drink your calories
Soda and other sweetened drinks (like fruit and energy drinks) have lots of added
sugar, which is bad news for your body and waistline. Do you really want to jog
about 50 minutes to burn off the calories from a 20 oz. soda?
Tip: Drink water when you're thirsty. Carry a re-fillable water
bottle with you so that you can sip it throughout the day. Add fresh lemon, lime,
or cucumber for a twist.
Mornings can be rushed, but making time for breakfast is important. Your mind will
be sharper, you'll have more energy, and you won’t be starving by second period.
Tip: Keep it simple. Leave a stash of breakfast bars in your locker
for days that you're running late. If you don't have any in the pantry, ask to go
shopping with your mom or dad and pick some out for yourself.
Worried about your weight?
Sure, everyone is worried about their weight! We all want to look good. But have
you ever stopped to think that what you’re doing to stay thin doesn’t really work?
And, what does "thin" mean anyway?
Own your style and body
You think: I wish I had her style. Ugh...and I WISH I could fit
into her clothes!
You might: Reach for a cigarette because you think it will make
you feel pretty like her.
You could: Own your own style and your body! Listen to how you
talk to yourself and ask, "Would I say that to my best friend?" Sometimes we can
be our own worst critics.
Bottom line: Girls who smoke are often too hard on themselves and
think poorly about their bodies and how they look. Try finding what you like about
your body (even if it's one thing) and play it up with your own personal style!
Ditch black and white thinking
You think: I really want to eat all this. But I shouldn’t have
it because I’ll get fat! :-/
You might: Reach for a cigarette because you think it’s going to
keep you from eating dessert and stay thin
You could: Say goodbye to black and white thinking. One dessert
isn’t going to make you fat. You can always ask for a small portion. If you always
say no to certain types of food, you’ll feel deprived and might pig out later.
Bottom line: All things are fine in moderation, except smoking!
Smoking & food restriction isn’t the answer
You think: I'm going to eat as little as possible, and then I’ll
feel better about myself.
You might: Reach for a cigarette because you think it’s going to
help you control your appetite
You could: Get the facts about nutrition! Your body needs enough
calories to function (think three healthy meals and two snacks a day). Restricting
often leads to bingeing, which will only make you feel worse.
Bottom line: Smoking won’t help you lose weight. The best way to
lose or maintain a healthy weight is through healthy eating and exercise.
Obsess less, smile more
You think: Man, I wish I could get rid of these curves. I’ve got
to fit into this dress.
You might: Reach for a cigarette because you think it will help
you check out and forget about your body.
You could: Be present for your life and not use cigarettes to check
out, even it feels uncomfortable.
Bottom line: All the time you spend obsessing about your body is
time wasted on things that make you feel good. Next time the feeling hits, grab
a friend to distract you until it passes.
Rewind & rewrite the negative tape
You think: Eek! I totally blew my diet.
You might: Smoke because you think it will calm you down and make
you feel less guilty.
You could: Rewind and rewrite the negative tape playing in your
head. What’s done is done! Make your next meal a healthy choice to balance it out.
Bottom line: Smoking can actually make you feel more nervous and
anxious. Stay at the table and talk with your friends until the feeling passes.
Learn to take a compliment
You think: Why did she say, "You look great in those jeans!" What
is she trying to say...I'm fat and these jeans make me look thin?
You might: Smoke because you feel rejected and bad about yourself.
You could: Take a step back and ask yourself if you were being
overly sensitive. And then remind yourself that cigarettes promise a lot, but don’t
Bottom line: It's easy to be overly sensitive if you're not feeling
good about yourself. Instead of smoking, try simply saying thanks and talk it out
with a friend later.
Be comfortable in your skin
You think: Ugh. Why does he always reach for my love handles when
he hugs me?!
You might: Smoke because it makes you feel like you’re doing something
(anything) to ditch what he calls your "cute belly"
You could: Acknowledge that it’s normal to have a little curve.
Do you think Beyonce hates her curves
Bottom line: Being comfortable in your own skin is tough! But take
a deep breath and repeat this when the pressure is suffocating, "in this moment
I am fine."
You think: Another hour running and I’ll feel better about myself.
You might: Smoke after your workout because you don’t want to eat
after all those calories you just burned.
You could: Be honest with yourself. Are you so focused on getting
slim that you’ve lost sight of what’s healthy?
Bottom line: Going to extremes isn’t the solution, but sometimes
you might get too deep to see that over exercising and smoking are both unhealthy
Feel (don't stuff) your feelings
You think: I feel so lonely right now. I can’t believe I didn't
get invited to the party.
You might: Reach for a cigarette and another piece of chocolate—anything
to stuff your feelings and pretend you're okay.
You could: Take a timeout. Ask yourself, "What's really going on?"
Bottom line: Feel your feelings. Cigarettes and food won’t stuff
them forever. Having a good cry might be the kinder, softer option. Just remember
to pick yourself up and do something nice for yourself!
Compare too much?
You think: She gets all the guys and looks great in everything.
You might: Smoke that cigarette because that’s what she does. And
she's thin and popular.
You could: Stop comparing. She might seem like all that, but you
don't know how she really feels. She could be thinking the same thing about you.
Bottom line: It's easier to learn to like yourself than become
a different person. Start by naming five things you like about yourself and go from
Stay on top of your game
As an athlete you probably train really hard to be the biggest, fastest, and strongest.
But have you ever stopped to think about how smoking is affecting your fitness goals
or your performance?
Smoking can make it hard for you to be on top of your game because your brain, heart,
and muscles don’t get the blood and oxygen they need to function properly. Smoking
impacts everyone, including athletes.
Build & strengthen muscles
Are you spending lots of time in the weight room but not seeing results? Don’t blame
your workout routine. Athletes who smoke tend to be weaker and have less muscle
mass compared to athletes who don’t smoke. That’s because when you smoke, less blood
and oxygen flow to your muscles. This makes it harder to build muscle.
Boost your energy
Have you noticed that your muscles become tired during sports or exercise? That’s
because smoking reduces the amount of blood flow to your muscles and the amount
of oxygen found in the blood. Your muscles need a constant supply of blood and oxygen
to make enough energy to perform during exercise. If your muscles aren't able to
make enough energy to keep them going, they become tired faster.
Give your lungs TLC
Do you find yourself short of breath after a tough workout? Your lungs may be trying
to tell you something. Teens who smoke have smaller, weaker lungs than teens who
don't smoke. That is because smoking stunts the growth of your lungs. Smaller lung
capacity makes it harder to exercise. You will have less endurance and will get
tired more easily than other people. If you keep smoking, your lungs may never grow
to their maximum capacity.
Be a top performer
Did you know that smoking just one cigarette can knock you off your game? That’s
because smoking decreases oxygen flow to your brain. Your brain requires a lot of
oxygen for top performance—about 20 percent of the oxygen in your entire body is
used by the brain! Cigarette smoke contains carbon monoxide, the same poisonous
gas found in car exhaust. When you inhale carbon monoxide, it reduces the amount
of oxygen available to your brain. A lack of oxygen to the brain can cause you to
feel sluggish, have poor body coordination, and make more mistakes on and off the
field. It can also cause you to feel dizzy or to faint during sports or exercise.
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