We are lucky that most of us currently at Intrepid don’t smoke, but I bet we all have friends, relatives, or co-workers that do smoke so the information presented may still be relevant even if you yourself aren’t a smoker. I won’t belabor the point on the health and lifestyle disadvantages of smoking but here’s some of the main ones:
- Cigarette smokers’ life expectancies have been shown to be 10-12 years less than non-smokers
- Smoking has been linked to 50 various diseases, 20 of which are fatal
- Smokers have a 2-3 times higher chance of suffering a heart attack
- The estimated cost of smoking can be upwards of $1,600/year!
- Smoking stains teeth and gives you bad breath
- Second hand smoke is just as harmful to those around you
- Last but definitely not least, smoking massively reduces your fitness level
Typically, even smokers know that smoking is bad for them but they just can’t kick the habit. Plain and simple, nicotine is an addiction. Quitting can be one of the hardest times of someone’s life. But the good thing is that many people just like you or your smoker compatriot have successfully quit, so know that it is possible. If you smoke and want to quit, or have someone close to you who fits that description, here are some of the ways that have worked for others.
- Cold Turkey-in the eyes of many, quitting cold turkey has the highest success rate of all the other methods combined. With that said, I’m sure you’re wondering why more people don’t choose this method. The answer is simple, the withdrawal symptoms in just the first three days are more than most can tolerate. The website WhyQuit advocates that cold turkey is the best way to quit and also has some motivational material for those stubborn smokers out there who need a clue.
- Slowly Cutting Down-In a similar fashion to our approach to eating healthier there’s the all-out cold turkey method, or the baby steps approach. Slowly cutting down is similar to the baby steps approach where people have had success by gradually decreasing their nicotine intake. Several strategies can be employed like smoke one less cigarette every day, delay smoking your first cigarette of the day by longer and longer, or limiting your number of cigarettes to a certain time period. Be creative and find one that works for you if quitting cold turkey doesn’t work for you.
- Nicotine Substitutes-Another strategy of slowly cutting down and help ease the nicotine addiction outlined above are nicotine subs. One benefit with these is that they can help kick the actual habit of inhaling smoke which allows the lungs to begin healing faster while your body and mind come to terms with the decreasing amounts of nicotine. Be forewarned that this option can be deceiving because on one hand you are addressing the deleterious effects on your lungs but you may still find it difficult to ween yourself off of the nicotine because it is still so readily available.
- Other options that are mentioned as having helped people are hypnosis and acupuncture (I’d be interested to know your thoughts Stephanie)
The last part of the quitting process that is so important is the support group. Some people find success in online forums such as this one listed on the WhyQuit website. You can also find the support you need from your Intrepid family. Look closely and you’ll find that we’re a community of like minded individuals pursuing better health, performance, and quality of life and quitting smoking fits right into our philosophy. Rely on your peers and coaches as we are all here for you to lean on. Don’t let the intimidation of quitting smoking stop you from beginning your pursuit of a healthier, happier life. Take the first step and put one of the strategies listed above into action. If you need more incentive, just realize how much better you could be doing in your workouts if you could only breath better. If you or your friend haven’t tried CrossFit before, then come in and try a free class. You might find that the combination of working out, goal setting, peer support, and our focus on optimizing health and performance might be just the trick to help you follow through and succeed at quitting smoking. I don’t know about you but I sure could use an extra $1,600 a year for something more enjoyable.
On a much lighter note, please wish Avelyne a very happy birthday today. Avelyne, we are so fortunate that you are a part of the Intrepid family. It has been so cool seeing you develop both as an athlete and a coach. Safe travels and we’ll see you this weekend where we can celebrate properly!
Back Squat 3×5 or Wendler
25 Wallball Shots
20 Front Squats