Join more than 14,000 others as they dare to quit smoking in 2011 with the support of LIVESTRONG.com. Smoking may be a big part of what is holding you back from reaching your fitness goals. Aside from the risks of lung cancer, heart disease, and emphysema, smokers can count on a lowered lung capacity which hinders their ability to perform high intensity cardio. Weight loss and toning are both dependent upon strength training AND cardiovascular activity. Don’t get discouraged if your workouts feel tough, quit smoking to make things easier and stay on the right track.
Here are a few ideas that may help you ease into quitting:
1. Pick one part of your day to cut smoking completely out. Whether it’s cutting out that cigarette you always have with your morning coffee, or not smoking while you’re in your car, make this your first step and you’ll be that much closer to quitting.
2. Set a long term fitness goal. Challenge yourself to running a mile, a 5k or competing in a triathlon, make it something that seems nearly impossible now but would feel great to complete. Setting a goal and staying committed to reaching it should give you a reason to cut down on smoking.
3. Say it out loud. Make your commitment official by telling someone close to you that you’re going to quit. I don’t know about you, but once something comes out of my mouth I become committed to making it happen!
4. Check out LIVESTRONG and other online support groups. These are places where people committed to quitting can get online and encourage each other to keep at it. It’s an easy way to get positive feedback or even just see what others are going through. If you can commit to quitting with a friend or family member that could be a great form of support too.
5. Set your cigarette money aside. Once you get to the point where you are buying cigarettes less, start setting that money aside to save up for something you want. You’ll be surprised how quickly that money adds up. If you can succeed at quitting, you’ll be saving that kind of money all the time, so don’t feel guilty about spending a few month’s savings on some type of reward…you earned it!