Motivation to Quit
Motivate Yourself to Quit
By Steve Edwards
From the Million Dollar Body Club - Join Today and Workout to
We shouldn't smoke and we know
it. No one needs to tell us how bad it is, we know that too. So why do so many
of us who want to quit fail? The answer is motivation.
If you want
something bad enough you will usually find a way to get it. Every day people
quit smoking. What makes some able to and others not is motivation. Usually it
comes from a sense of urgency: an illness, a scary report from your doctor, a
loved one getting sick, etc. But you know it would be much better if you could
stop today, as in right now. This could be the extra motivation you need.
Easiest time to
The easiest time to
quit smoking is at the beginning of an exercise program. There are many reasons
for this. First is that you're replacing one body-altering experience with
another. Exercise causes a reactive bodily chemical response somewhat like
smoking. Both are addicting but the difference is that one is good for you. The
chemical reactions aren't the only reason it's easier. You depend on your body
performance to enhance your exercise experience. Smoking diminishes your
capability. When you are short of breath during your workout you begin to
understand what smoking is doing to you. This makes it much easier to make a
decision not to have a cigarette next time you're in the mood.
The trade-off you're looking at
is replacing one high with another. You may love the high you get from smoking
but it inhibits the high you get from exercise. When you know this, it's much
easier to make the healthier swap, since it's getting you high, too.
Sound great? Sure!
But it's not without a price; meaning that you need to motivate yourself to do
the work in order to receive the high you'll get from exercise. Knowing that
you'll feel better is a pretty good motivator. And that you'll look better,
too, also helps. Then toss in the fact that you'll live longer, and in much
better health, and the decision should be a piece o' cake.
Still not enough for you? Then
consider what happens to your body when you stop smoking, even for an amount of
time that's less than it will take you to finish your workout. Also consider
that all of these stats were done using only control groups of smokers and
nonsmokers. Adding exercise speeds up the process.
- 20 minutes after quitting:
Your heart rate drops.
- 12 hours after quitting: The
carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal.
- 2 weeks to 3 months after
quitting: Your circulation improves and your lung function increases.
- 1 to 9 months after quitting:
Coughing and shortness of breath decrease; cilia (tiny hair-like structures
that move mucus out of the lungs) regain normal function in the lungs,
increasing the ability to handle mucus, clean the lungs, and reduce the risk of
- 1 year after quitting: The
excess risk of coronary heart disease is half that of a smoker's.
- 5 to 15 years after quitting:
Your stroke risk is reduced to that of a nonsmoker.
- 10 years after quitting: The
lung cancer death rate is about half that of a continuing smoker's, as is the
risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, cervix, and pancreas.
- 15 years after quitting: The
risk of coronary heart disease is that of a nonsmoker's.
General's Report, 1988, pp. 39, 202; U.S. Surgeon General's Report, 1990, pp.
131, 148, 152, 155, 164,166,193,194,196,285-287, 304,323.