Gold Member Badge


  • You're all caught up!

Breathing Exercises After Quitting Smoking

author image Brenda Barron
Brenda Barron is a writer, editor and researcher based in Southern California. She has worked as a writer since 2004, with work appearing in online and print publications such as BabyZone, "Cat Fancy" and "ePregnancy." She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English literature from California State University, Long Beach.
Breathing Exercises After Quitting Smoking
Inhale fresh air instead of smoke. Photo Credit: wxin/iStock/Getty Images

When you quit smoking, it can be a liberating feeling to break the addiction. However, dealing with the habits associated with smoking, such as lighting up after a meal or having a few puffs when stressed out, can be just as hard to break. Breathing exercises can help your break the habits, relieve the nicotine cravings and improve your lung function.

Video of the Day

Belly Breathing Feels Better

One way to get used to not smoking is to practice deep breathing. This practice requires that you first notice your breath. While sitting in a quiet place, sit tall and breathe in deeply, allowing your belly to expand as your lungs fill with air. Pay attention to your diaphragm as it moves up and down with your breathing. Notice how you must push the air from your lungs as you exhale. Continue this breathing slowly and deeply. Make it a part of your daily routine and practice breathing whenever you feel stressed.

Do Hold Your Breath

Another exercise you can do to make the aftermath of quitting smoking easier is to hold your breath. This can be done as a part of your deep-breathing exercises. To start, inhale and exhale to a count of 6. Maintain a steady and even rhythm. Once you're ready, after an inhale, hold your breath when your lungs are their fullest. Hold for a count of 3, then exhale. Pause for another count of 3 before inhaling again.

Open Your Mouth and Say "Ah"

Pranayama is a yoga exercise that includes belly breathing in with a forced exhale. Begin by belly breathing in through your nose. When your lungs are full of air, open your mouth slightly and exhale with an "ah" sound. This can increase your lung capacity and allow you to take deeper, fuller breaths that will make you feel better after quitting smoking. Keep your thoughts focused on your breath.

Breathe the Bad Out and the Good In

Smoking causes many physiological problems, along with behavioral habits. Practice deep breathing after every meal -- when you are likely to crave a smoke. Do deep-breathing exercises again before you go to bed or at any time craving strikes. By quitting smoking and engaging in health-promoting activities such as deep-breathing, you can lose your hacking smoker's cough and shortness of breath. You become healthier as toxins are released from your body, and you are less subject to serious health conditions, such as heart attacks and emphysema.

LiveStrong Calorie Tracker
Lose Weight. Feel Great! Change your life with MyPlate by LIVESTRONG.COM
  • Gain 2 pounds per week
  • Gain 1.5 pounds per week
  • Gain 1 pound per week
  • Gain 0.5 pound per week
  • Maintain my current weight
  • Lose 0.5 pound per week
  • Lose 1 pound per week
  • Lose 1.5 pounds per week
  • Lose 2 pounds per week
  • Female
  • Male
ft. in.



Demand Media