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   Life is too short > Inspiration > Stop Smoking Stay Sl
Stop Smoking Stay Slim - Part Two

Hopefully, by the time you've completed the triathlon - or sometime before - you will have adjusted to, and prefer this lifestyle over the old smoking one. Even if you never attempt another triathlon, chances are you'll continue to enjoy staying fit and healthy. This in turn could easily open doors that have always been closed due to your lack of fitness/stamina. For example, surfing, rock climbing, mountain biking, charity runs (a marathon?) or just being able to run about with the kids/grand-kids.

* gentle jogging won't get that natural high like triathlon training will ...

Okay, Okay, for a short period of time, you will be replacing one coping mechanism (nicotine) with another (endorphins)

Endorphins explained..

Fit people are usually in high spirits after lengthy exercise, sometimes to the point of elation or joy. This feeling is associated with the presence of endorphins, which are released by the pituitary gland in the brain

The word 'endorphin' is a combination of 'endo' and 'morphine' - meaning endogenously (self) produced morphine, or internally produced painkiller. It may be that the brain interprets exercise as a form of 'pain' or it may be that the rise in fatty acids caused by long, gentle exercise acidifies the blood, which triggers the release of endorphins.

In any case, you can get from exercise a natural high, similar to a drug high, but with none of the bad side effects. People who do long, continuous, gentle exercise enjoy the most effective stress therapy known to man.

How long and how hard do you have to exercise to get the endorphin high?

Most researchers have found that moderate-intensity exercise lasting at least 20 to 30 minutes produces the greatest increase of blood endorphins. So the key is to exercise slowly and aerobically. The biological explanation why you don't get the endorphin rush from short, fast bursts of exercise is that during high stress situations (running fast from a dangerous situation for example) your body can't afford to have your brain tripping off into fantasy land.

Slow, aerobic exercise is exactly what you will be doing when you begin your triathlon training


1. Buy the nicotine replacement gum (NRT)- or losenge/patch - whatever works for you.

You are now armed with all you need to get you comfortably through the first few days of quitting. Throw or give away any remaining cigarettes, tobacco or lighters - you won't be needing them again. Oh sorry, did I forget to say? You're now a non-smoker. Please don't worry - this really is going to be very easy.

Use the gum as prescribed over the next few days. I found it quite useful to have 'little and often' - whenever I felt a craving coming on, I would bite off a small piece of gum and congratulate myself for getting through another one. Overdosing on NRT can make you feel sick.

It's a good idea to check on the packet, for example, patches are only for the heavier, more regular ex-smokers. Remember, this bit only lasts a few days. But you may wish to continue with the NRT for longer - whatever works for you. I haven't yet met anyone who became 'addicted' to NRT - probably because it tastes so horrible.

2. Dust off or buy some essential items of equipment: 1. A swim-suit and goggles 2. A good pair of running shoes 3. A bicycle and helmet

3. Get on the Internet - find a local Sprint Triathlon taking place in a few months time, sign up and get training

I realise this sounds utterly crazy to you. After all, 5 minutes ago you were a wheezing, unfit smoker (WUS). But what have you got to lose?

You don't have to win the triathlon - I'm just asking that you get yourself fit enough to take part in and, hopefully, finish the race. To become a triathlete in training (TIT).

Below is a simple guide 'How to get started on your Sprint Triathlon'. For a more detailed information, there are many excellent books on the subject from Amazon.com or visit the excellent website http://www.stopsmokingstayslim.com Below I have given a brief outline of the level of fitness you will need to attain (and timescales) to complete a Sprint triathlon in comfort. But remember - you only need to be able to take part in and enjoy the race for this Stop Smoking Stay Slim plan to be effective.

The Sprint Triathlon

You can start immediately on this plan if you can already do the following:

1. swim 500m (20 lengths of a 25m pool) without stopping 2. cycle at an easy pace for 45 minutes 3. run for 30 minutes without stopping

If you're not up to this level - don't worry, just follow this six-week pre-training programme for absolute beginners:

Six week pre-Sprint training plan

Weeks 1 and 2 * Swim:300m twice a week with a 10-second rest every 25m. * Bike: 20 minutes at a slow pace twice a week * Run: 15 minutes jog-walk twice a week (jog for 40 seconds, then walk for 30 seconds, and repeat)

Weeks 3 and 4 * Swim:300m twice a week with 15-second rest every 50m. * Bike: 30 minutes at a slow pace twice a week * Run: 20 minutes jog-walk twice a week (jog for 60 seconds, then walk for 60 seconds and repeat)

Weeks 5 and 6 * Swim: 400m twice a week,with a 15-second rest every 100m * Bike: 40 minutes at a slow/easy pace twice a week * Run: 25 minutes at jog-walk twice a week (jogging more than walking) The following week, you should have reached the above 500/45/30 minimum - Well done

For the 10 week Sprint Training Plan plus more free information, tips, FAQs, for sales, blog etc, visit http://www.stopsmokingstayslim.com

About the author:
Editor at Stop Smoking Stay Slim and original TIT (triathlete in training)

Kate Richardson
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