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Published on November 5th, 2012 | by Kelie Kyser

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Maintain a Fitness Routine and Quit Smoking

Few words can adequately describe the euphoria of a cigarette – only a smoker can appreciate that sentiment.

After eating, after drinking, after a hard day – you get the idea.  In the beginning, smoking was a stimulating and simultaneously relaxing pastime I controlled.  But the habit eventually became consuming.  Almost overnight, the “social smoker” designation I once claimed had become a full-blown tobacco addiction.  I found out everything they say about the battle to stop smoking is true –it’s hard and it never ends.  Once a smoker always a smoker – you’re only one stressful event away from reintroducing your lungs to carcinogenic air.

In 2002, I chose liberation from nicotine and employed kickboxing, weight training, and running as the artillery.  The challenge remains arduous as the road has been speckled with setbacks.   Yet this much is true – one bad day does not undo years of progress.  If you are trying to give up smoking consider the gym.  You’ll quickly realize that smoking can be done in tandem with just about anything except an intense cardio workout.

Enough already with the habit, try these four tactics to get started and remain faithful to a fitness routine:

1.  Find a gym.

Sounds simple enough; but, finding the perfect gym isn’t easy.  A number of things should be taken into account before saying “I do” to any legally binding obligation.  Ask yourself:

Is it clean?  If you prefer to shower on site after your workout, are you going to be repulsed by the locker room when you do?

Does the establishment staff according to my personal preference?   If you are uncomfortable in group settings, it’s important that the gym offer personal training to make you feel at ease.

How can I make it affordable?  Health clubs embrace new members and they will accommodate your financial ability.  Don’t be afraid to negotiate, you’d be surprised how easy it is to create a financial package that suits your needs.

2. Get rid of the scale.

Not forever, but please do so during the beginning stages of your fitness regimen.  This is especially important for those who wish to stop smoking because the reality is you will gain weight.  It doesn’t have to be substantial – but it is inevitable.  Don’t fall into the numbers trap.  Instead, be patient with yourself and allow some time for change (both good and bad).  Your devotion to step class will eventually catch up to the numbers calculated on the scale.   Bear in mind (when you are popping out of your skinny jeans) a 5 pound weight gain is a lot less taxing than emphysema.

3.  Ditch your Co-Workers.

Misery loves company.  It’s true and particularly relevant for those making the effort to stop smoking.  If you smoke, chances are you’ve formed an alliance with other smokers in the office and you all bond over the morning, mid-afternoon, and end of day puff.  When you decide to quit, be prepared for a multitude of odd feedback.  Your decision may provoke intense cynicism from others (especially those who haven’t decided to quit).  It’s best to do your thing quietly at first to avoid the naysayers.

4. Run.

Getting started is hard, but it gets easier with time.  Research magazines like Competitor and Runner’s World and get acquainted with training trends; the best running shoes; and local events geared towards runners.  Running is a great way to strengthen your heart and lungs.   It also improves your circulatory system giving you radiant skin and a beautiful complexion.  The phenomenon known as runners high is a reality-discover it for yourself.  Get a jump on the New Year’s Resolution hype.  Start running from smoking today.

Are you a reformed smoker?   Share your story of triumph or discuss your frustration.

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About the Author

is a reporting authority. Her talent lies in the ability to communicate succinct messages that are rich with information to a diverse audience. The Denver native holds a bachelor’s degree in communication and a master’s degree in organizational leadership.



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