Quitting smoking and taking on a new physical activity program may seem like a challenge but the reward is worth it! The program has had great success in previous years when many smokers took their first step to a healthier life by joining Walk or Run to Quit. Many participants went into the program reluctant or nervous. Let’s explore some common concerns they had and how they overcame them:
I am not in good shape and won’t be able to keep up…
The Walk or Run to Quit Training Program has a step by step approach that teaches you to walk or run 5 km. We do not expect you to walk or run 5 km the first day. We will provide you with the tools to help you build up your endurance. We are ready for you even if you do not walk or run at all. We will show you it’s possible and help you make a big change in your life. Give us a try!
Your Walk or Run to Quit group is also a huge support. Everybody in the program is new to walking or running. You are with other smokers. Everyone is in it together.
I am afraid I will not be able to quit smoking…
Walk or Run to Quit provides you with tools, resources and helps you create your personalized quit plan. You do not need to quit smoking right away and we will make sure you are prepared. Yes, you may stumble and grab for that cigarette at times. It’s part of the process. Many people make several attempts to quit smoking before quitting for good. When you slip, you learn more about yourself, about your strengths and your weaknesses, and you become stronger for the next time you try.
Physical activity is shown to improve chances of quitting smoking. Exercise can reduce cravings, withdrawal symptoms, negative moods and weight gain. Initial research shows that physical activity can help about 25% of smokers successfully quit smoking compared with only 4% who try quitting cold turkey. Give us a try let’s do it together!
I do not have a Running Room near me.
That’s why the Walk or Run to Quit program offers the Virtual Training Program. Support for quitting smoking and getting active is available throughout the year and accessible anywhere in Canada where you have internet access. You can register for a Virtual Training Program and get online information and support by registering here.
It’s too expensive…
The cost of Walk or Run to Quit is relatively small compared to the health benefits gained and the cost of cigarettes. If you smoked a pack a day and quit smoking, you will save almost $400 a month! Wow! You can go on four vacations per year with that money! Use the photo below to estimate how much you will save when you quit smoking.
I don’t like groups…
Not everybody likes being part of a group, and that’s okay. Walk or Run to Quit offers a Virtual Training Program. This option is available throughout the year and allows you to join when you feel ready. It also gives you the flexibility of training on your own schedule.
I don’t have time…
Instead of looking at Walk or Run to Quit as a large time commitment, break it down into smaller parts so you can set realistic goals. This will make the program less daunting.
For example, look at your calendar and block off 3 days a week where you will go for a 30 minute walk. Now that’s it blocked off, you are committed!
You can also have a conversation with your friends and family. Let them know that you want to do this 10 week program and you might need their help to free up some time. Participants in the program previously, found that friends and family wanted to help but did not know how. You can ask for help with meal preparation, babysitting or that they join you in your walks or runs.
It’s not a good time for me…
Too stressed? Too tired? Too much on your mind? We always have things in our way. Choosing the appropriate moment might be your challenge; for example, choose to stop smoking during your vacations, after you’ve moved or once a big stress is over. If the timing does not seem to come, just know that physical activity always helps to give you a boost of energy and let the stress out. Just give it a try!
I am scared about nicotine withdrawal symptoms…
When you stop smoking, it’s completely normal to have some withdrawal symptoms (irritability, headaches, insomnia, nasal congestion, etc.). You should know that physical activity decreases the desire to smoke, reduces cravings and withdrawal symptoms. Walk or Run to Quit will help you feel better.
We also encourage you to speak with a quit coach on our Smokers’ Helpline. They will help you understand your withdrawal symptoms and provide you with ideas on how to overcome them. Talking to your health provider is always helpful as well. Let them know that you would like to try this program and that you are worried about nicotine withdrawal symptoms. They can talk you though all the options for you.