In designing this program, we carefully reviewed what research has to say on the role of exercise and possible benefits in becoming tobacco-free. We did this because we feel you can replace a poor habit (such as smoking) with a positive and adaptive one (such as exercise). Walking, in particular, has many benefits and can help you to avoid the weight gain so many people—especially women—experience.
At least one study of female smokers found that those who combine cognitive and behavioral changes like exercise and talking with others for support—those who literally "talk the talk" and "walk the walk"—do better.
Dr. Michael Roizen advises smokers who come to him for help in quitting to begin with walking. "Start walking 30 minutes everyday, at least 30 days in advance of the quit date. And call or e-mail your buddy every day...no excuses. If you miss a day, reset the date and start the 30 days of never missing a walking day again."
He reports great success with this plan—so will it work for you? If you take the Roizen road, please log onto RealAge.com to the blog "Walk the Walk and Talk the Talk" to say how it's going.
Dr. Roizen also advises smokers to begin weightlifting on Day 8 after the quit date and to not increase physical activities by more than 10 percent a week. For those of you who take on the weightlifting part, we would also like to hear from you.