New Year’s Resolution: Quit and Get Fit

(December 26, 2012)

American Lung Association encourages improved health for the New Year

Brookfield, WI - The world didn’t stop spinning on December 21st so we’ll all still be making New Year’s resolutions.  This new year, resolve to live a healthier, more active life with a little help from the American Lung Association in Wisconsin (ALAW).  If you’re a smoker or a couch potato, 2013 is the right time to kick the habit and get moving – and doing one will make the other easier!

First, set yourself a goal to climb the 1,034 steps of the US Bank Center on March 23 at the Fight for Air Climb.  Start training today by taking the stairs instead of the elevator or taking a brisk walk several times a week.  The Lung Association also will offer a free six-week Boot Camp beginning in February for those who sign up for the event and meet fundraising benchmarks.

“Lots of us will resolve to get into shape this New Year,” says ALAW Executive Director, Sue Swan.  “Training for the Fight for Air Climb is a strong motivator to get active and a fun way to diversify your workout.  And it’s a great way to remind ourselves of what most of us take for granted – our ability to breathe easily.”  

Second, for those still battling a tobacco addiction, the Lung Association says if you’ve tried to quit and failed, try again.  Six out of 10 smokers require multiple quit attempts to stop smoking, but planning ahead can greatly improve success rates.

Here are some proven tips and resources that have helped thousands of people pack in smoking permanently:

  1. Seek support.  You don’t have to quit alone. Ask family, friends, and co-workers for their help and support. Having someone to take a walk with, or just listen, can give a needed boost.  Climb team members can be a great resource!
    -Find support online or in your community. Consider joining a stop-smoking program like Freedom From Smoking® Online (www.ffsonline.org) from the American Lung Association.
    -Visit www.lung.org/stop-smoking or call 1-800-LUNG-USA (1-800-586-4872) for additional suggestions.
  2. Take time to plan: Designate a day to quit on the calendar and stick to it. Avoid peak times of stress, such as the holidays, and gather in advance the tools and medications you will need.
  3. Exercise daily: Exercise is proven to help smokers quit. Not only that, it will also combat weight gain and improve mood and energy levels. Walking is a great way to reduce the stress of quitting.
  4. Prioritize nutrition and sleep: Eat a balanced diet, drink lots of water, and be sure to get plenty of sleep.
  5. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist: They can discuss with you the various over-the-counter or prescription medications available to help you quit.

For the fifth consecutive year, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Wisconsin will be the Fight for Air Climb’s presenting sponsor.  With a commitment to whole body wellness, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield supports programs and activities that encourage active living, healthy eating habits and smoking cessation.

 “Getting regular exercise and not smoking are two of the most important things you can do for your health.  The American Lung Association can help you do both,” said Dr. Michael Jaeger, managing medical director for Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Wisconsin and a member of the ALAW’s Board of Directors. “By participating in the Fight for Air Climb you can not only keep your New Year’s resolution on track, but also help others by raising money to support smoking cessation programs and fight lung disease.”

Fight for Air Climb early bird registration available until January 11 is $15; after that date it is $25.  A minimum $100 fundraising is required.  Participants can register at www.fightforairclimb.org.

All registered climbers are also invited to attend a kick-off party at Trinity Three Irish Pubs in Milwaukee.  Enjoy refreshments, collect training and fundraising tips, and meet fellow climbers. Swan said, "Quitting smoking and getting active are two of the best ways to put you on the road to good health.”

About the American Lung Association:
Now in its second century, the American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease. With your generous support, the American Lung Association is "Fighting for Air" through research, education and advocacy. For more information about the American Lung Association or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNG-USA (1-800-586-4872) or visit www.lungusa.org.

About Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Wisconsin
Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield is the trade name of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wisconsin (BCBSWi), which underwrites or administers the PPO and indemnity policies; Compcare Health Services Insurance Corporation (Compcare), which underwrites or administers the HMO policies; and Compcare and BCBSWi collectively, which underwrite or administer the POS policies. Independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. ®ANTHEM is a registered trademark of Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield names and symbols are registered marks of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Additional information about Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Wisconsin is available at www.anthem.com. Also, follow us on Twitter at  www.twitter.com/healthjoinin, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/HealthJoinIn, or visit our YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/healthjoinin.