If you are a smoker then this blog is 1 million percent for you! Even if you’re a non-smoker I encourage you to read it and share with your friends, as you probably have at least one friend or family member that smokes. What i’m going to try and avoid in this blog is patronising you and tell you about how bad for your health smoking is, how it has a negative impact on your fitness, causes cancer, blah blah blah. You’re not an idiot and neither am I. We all know smoking is bad and we all know the health implications of smoking but yet some of us still smoke anything from 10-40 cigarettes per day. What I would rather do is give you a few facts from credible, peer reviewed research that has been conducted on smoking and exercise. I also want to give you some tips on how you can kick the habit for good and change your mindset from a smoker to a non smoker.
You may want to stop smoking, you may not, personally I’ve never smoked so I can’t talk to you from a personal experience but I’ve had many friends and clients quit smoking and change their habits using certain techniques. Firstly let’s talk about some facts regarding smoking and exercise:
- Smoking lowers exercise levels and lowers physical endurance. Both cardio-respiratory and muscular endurance.
- Smoking is a detriment to physical fitness even among relatively young, fit individuals.
- Study findings say that smokers will have lower physical endurance than nonsmokers, even after differences in the average exercise levels of smokers and nonsmokers are taken into account.
- Smoking increases cholesterol and decreases heart and lung function.
There are many other findings but these are the ones to me that really stand out. It’s clear to see, that if you are a smoker not just your stamina based fitness levels but also your muscular fitness levels are going to be effected, in a negative way. All the credible research I have read on smoking and exercise have suggested that if an individual is a smoker and they want to improve their fitness levels then they should quit smoking. Now if you want to get fitter and healthier and you smoke you need some tips on how to quit. I’m going to break it down and what I want you to do is give the tips a try and see if you can kick the cigarettes for good!
- Ask yourself how bad do I want to quit smoking? – I’ve spoken before about desire and mindset if you really want to stop you have to have the desire in the first place.
- Once you know you are going to quit you should get a health check done and do some fitness tests. – This is a fantastic measure of where you are at, health and fitness wise. It can also be a fantastic wake up call to get you motivated.
- Don’t cut down on the cigarettes, cut them out completely. – Cutting down might work but you need to get used to being a non smoker. To do this you need to get out of the smokers mind set and stop the habit.
- Commit to a month of no cigarettes and tell everyone you know you have quit smoking. (Even if they mock you and say “Yeah Right?”) – If you read some of my previous blogs I have stated how a new habit forms when you consistently do it over an extended period of time. If you can go for a month without the cigs, then you’re chance of quitting for good increases dramatically. Also having a support system helps you, the more people you tell the more you are held accountable to your actions. This means sub consciously you’re more determined to succeed.
- Experiment with techniques and stick with the ones that work for you. – You might have cravings for months even years after stopping smoking and when these come you need techniques/strategies to cope especially in the early days. – Avoid the smoking sections, don’t go on your usual cigarette break, exercise more or eat nutritious foods when cravings come, try meditation, save the money you’d usually spend on cigarettes in a cash ISA or piggy bank, tell your friends/partner/colleagues you are having cravings and you want them to make sure you don’t cave in.
- Once you’ve not smoked for over a month repeat the health checks and fitness tests and see how you have improved. This will spur you on to not go back to your old smoking self.
- Keep going and never give into the lure of a cigarette, even when the going gets tough remember your old self and embrace the new you.
To conclude this blog I’d like to say that none of us are born smokers, it’s a habit some of us get into. Just like putting on your clothes and brushing your teeth. The problem lies with the damage smoking causes and because it’s so addictive. The great thing about being a human being is that you, me and everyone has the ability to change a habit. Also we can all improve our health and fitness. Kicking the cigarettes will be your biggest step to accomplishing this.
Please share this with your friends 🙂 Thanks for reading!