Smoking and tobacco can negatively affect your health and your fitness. Hitting 40 can hit you in face, or it can creep up on you…depending on your personality. Facing the big 4-0 will often have you looking in the reflection in the mirror and wondering…”Am I OK with who I am?”
Heading into your 40’s can result in an appraisal of your health, something that was not at the forefront of your thinking until now. Aches and pains you never had, or the realization that your father had his first heart attack in his late 40’s, can all trigger this reevaluation of your habits and of your state of health. My ebook, Second Chance at Health-Learn to Love Active Living and Clean Eating, can help you during this evaluation. Order your copy now.
This is often the time that smokers may feel or be told that the tobacco they are using is actually affecting their bodies in a negative way. No longer is the nicotine fix an entirely positive experience because it is negatively affecting their bodies.
Is Smoking Making You Sick?
They have now been told that they have high blood pressure, or they notice that they are experiencing increased bouts of bronchitis and even pneumonia! If a health care provider has been honest, they were told that their smoking is a contributing factor to these conditions.
It is difficult to stop something that you enjoy doing…unless you see that it is doing harm. It is amazing to me that humans are so capable of harming their physical bodies with habits/compulsions.
This blog is not going to address the genetic component to any human behaviors (over eating, smoking or drinking). That is beyond the scope or the intent of the blog. What I do want to do is give you specific actions. Actions that you can take today if you are ready to or even thinking about stopping your tobacco use.
The first and most important step is to determine your readiness to stop smoking. Notice I did not stay QUIT. One smoker friend of mine told me he IS a smoker, he just STOPPED smoking. He did not stop being a smoker.
Often your medical insurance carrier has a tobacco cessation program that you can sign up for. These programs are often free. So explore that option.
There are medications that can assist with tobacco cessation. Your personal doctor may be willing to prescribe them for you. Certain companies have limitations on the medications used for this, so check with employer to ensure that you are in compliance with their policy.
Tips to STOP Smoking
Here are my suggestions to my patients:
Choose a stop date
Choose a nicotine replacement if you are not going to stop “cold turkey”
Use water bottles that have pop up tabs that you need to “suck” on to drink
(I recommend this because of the hand to mouth-> suck action that has occurred thousands and thousands of times while you have been smoking. This action needs to be addressed early on or it will cause anxiety to increase. I found that this helps with flushing the system with water, and the hand->mouth->suck action is maintained.)
Use tooth picks to manage the mouth activity
Decide to stop smoking in one smoking area a week
Remove one cigarette from a pack a day
Consider carrying an empty pack with one cigarette only
Choose a support/accountability buddy
Check in with that buddy weekly or more often
Expect some anxiety and irritability
Be KIND to yourself if you use tobacco after your quit date
If you restart smoking, don’t worry. Just stop again. Don’t stop stopping.
Regaining your fitness after 40 is not impossible. It will take work but the benefits are amazing.
If you would like assistance in learning to incorporate activity and improved diet into your life, I can help.
Purchase my book by clicking on the link
Buy book to begin your journey.
You don’t have to go this alone!