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How to Support Your Clients to Smoke Less?
“Smoking kills” – this phrase appears on packs of cigarettes, but you start to think about it only when you get the first signs of a negative impact on the body. Shortness of breath, fatigue and sharp intermittent pain in the extremities and teeth are just the tip of the iceberg. By indulging your tobacco addiction, your condition will only worsen.
Unfortunately, few people can easily quit smoking on their own – more often, you need help, including professionals. A fitness trainer can become the mentor who will give the proper motivation to quit smoking. It is very important not to pressure your client with your advice but to make your help soft. Smoking is serious, and quitting can cause a very tangible reaction, which you should definitely warn your client about. An experienced fitness coach knows that abruptly quitting smoking can have negative consequences. That is why you need to evaluate and prepare your client to effectively reject this bad habit
Ineffective ways to quit smoking
When people try to quit smoking they make the most common mistakes:
- You can’t quit smoking abruptly. Abruptly quitting smoking leads to the person experiencing quitting symptoms. Abrupt quitting smoking causes temporary psychological discomfort, a period of nicotine withdrawal, and a short-term deterioration in well-being associated with the body’s restructuring. With this method of giving up cigarettes, the most difficult are the first 3-5 days, then physical well-being will gradually improve.
- You can’t replace smoking with vaping. Electronic cigarettes and vapes should not be considered smoking cessation aids. It’s just a different kind of nicotine use that maintains and reinforces nicotine addiction and is unhealthy.
- Eat unhealthy foods. In an attempt to quit a bad habit, smokers often replace it with another one. And most of the time, this is food. In pursuit of happiness hormones, clients prefer sweets. Instead, you can encourage them to take up a sport or find a new hobby.
Downsides of quitting smoking
A metabolic restructuring occurs in the body of a person who has quit smoking. A number of negative points accompany it:
- There is a temporary decrease in immunity. In this regard, after quitting smoking, a person has more frequent colds;
- Stomatitis and ulcers in the oral cavity may occur.
- Emotional disorders develop: irritability, irascibility or depression, insomnia, and nightmares.
- There may be the appearance of headaches and dizziness.
- Many people who quit smoking begin to put on weight quickly in the first months. This is explained by the fact that a person, wanting to get rid of negative experiences, begins to change them for delicious food.
However, such troubles often last no longer than one or two months. Then the metabolism approaches the norm gradually, and the negative experiences become a thing of the past.
Benefits of quitting smoking
By quitting smoking, a person contributes to their own recovery:
- harmful substances, toxins are gradually removed from the body;
- the concentration of oxygen in the blood increases;
- blood circulation is normalized;
- the volume of the lungs increases (returns to the previous, normal level);
- reduces the risk of hypertension, cardiovascular, pulmonary, oncological diseases, and premature mortality.
Strategies for Quitting Smoking
Successfully breaking a bad habit requires determination, a positive attitude, and an understanding that the client may have to work hard. It would help if you told the client: you are not a victim who will now be deprived of pleasure, but, on the contrary, a person who will receive a lot of health benefits and will look like a hero in their own eyes. This attitude helps clients to move on and overcome all difficulties.
It is crucial to help the client identify the reasons it is necessary to quit smoking. For everyone, they can be different: this is health, childbirth, and other reasons. And most importantly, you need not dwell on the previous unsuccessful attempts at quitting smoking, if there were any.
Prepare a clear plan
Before quitting, help your clients learn more about the quitting process itself. This will help them know what obstacles may arise and how to deal with them. Often, a person who has made a spontaneous decision to quit smoking, and faced certain difficulties, is not ready to overcome them.
You need a clear plan to quit smoking with specific steps on what to do and how to do it. You could also recommend starting a diary and writing down every cigarette your client smokes the time they smoked, why they smoked, etc.
Overcome smoking habits
People can be psychologically attached to smoking when they have habits and daily rituals associated with this process. For example, they have no idea how they will drink coffee if they is used to smoking at the same time. Advise your clients to separate such activities from smoking and try to break the bad habit. Maybe even avoid this cup of coffee for some time so that it does not provoke a desire to take a cigarette again.
Increased physical activity during the period of quitting helps to cope with nicotine addiction, increases self-esteem and self-confidence, helps to improve the functioning of the respiratory system and prevents weight gain, and delivers the missing endorphins. It is a great quit smoking motivation. Therefore, if there is such an opportunity, it is good to fill one’s free time with:
- breathing exercises,
- dancing and any other preferred physical activity that helps learn how to control the body, muscles, and breathing.
While trying to quit smoking, clients are more likely to reach for food as an alternative to the next cigarette. Therefore many complain that they begin to gain weight: when quitting smoking, metabolism improves, and those who have problems with this bad habit want to eat more. When quitting smoking, it is better to focus on vegetables, fish, fruits, and cheeses, which make the taste of cigarettes more unpleasant.
Drink more liquid
While quitting smoking, you need to provide yourself with plenty of fluids if there are no contraindications to this. Drinking plenty of fluids helps clear the lungs, eliminate toxins and thin phlegm, and help get rid of dry mouth, one of the withdrawal symptoms. Water, herbal and fruit teas, and tomato juice are best suited for these purposes.
It is important to remember that an attack of cravings for smoking usually lasts no more than five minutes. That is, you don’t have to suffer from your bad habit forever. You just need to wait it out and avoid a breakdown.
If you feel a strong urge to smoke, you shouldn’t quit abruptly. A day or two before you finally quit smoking, try to smoke twice as many cigarettes as usual. This will lead to an oversaturation of the body with nicotine and other harmful components of tobacco, and the cigarette will lose its taste.
There are many different types of substitution therapy available to help you quit smoking. All these products contain nicotine and are designed to replace cigarettes. These products include nicotine patches, gum, sprays, and inhalers.
You need to fight a possible nicotine craving:
- Drink 6-8 glasses of water a day.
- If you’re nervous, take a deep breath, hold the air in and exhale calmly – the desire to smoke will disappear!
- Engage in sports, and walk with non-smokers.
- Chew sugar-free gum.
- Don’t eat sweets.
Nicotine withdrawal lasts 3-4 weeks. The addiction feels very hard during the first 2 weeks. But, if you don’t give up, the desire to smoke will go away.