Nearly 20 percent of daily smokers say they exercise three or more times a week

Several months ago, The Seattle Times ran a story on people who smoke and also work out. In the article, personal trainer Will Baldyga compares it to other dissonant behavior such as pigging out on ice cream after a workout. I have to admit that on rare occasions, I lapse into such behavior ("justifying" bad eating habits with exercise), but on the whole, I manage to keep myself honest.

Comments (18)
  1. uber1024 says:

    One of my favorite parts about going to the gym is not being bothered by the inevitable Lager beer that follows.

  2. H says:

    I was a smoker and also working out before I finally quit smoking. I still remember the high I got after a tough workout, and I actually used to  look forward to having that cigarette after working out. I also remember the "shocked" stares I got from other members of the gym when I lit up.

  3. Phill says:

    I’m a smoker and I also work out. I go through periods of being off them and I will admit that fitness levels increase. At the same time, I’m running a triathlon in two weeks and still smoking 10-15 cigarettes a day.

    A good work out will turn me off cigarettes for the rest of the evening, there is something about it that makes the damage you’re doing seem more real. Of course, with the extra lung capacity you get after a work out, it is probably not a good idea to fill them with smoke!

  4. Marlboro Man says:

    Jeez, will you exercise addicts ever get it?  Exercise is good for everyone, regardless of what else they do.  It is not necessary to give up all pleasures and devote one’s life to fitness to gain some benefits.  

  5. Urk? says:

    These people could smoke or not, and they could exercise or not. That’s four (4) possible options. The one they’ve chosen is not the worst of the four. Would it be "better" to choose a worse option because it’s more "consistent"? "Better" in what sense?

    Besides, virtually everybody does one unhealthy thing or another. Are we not allowed to do anything good for our health until we’ve first stopped doing everything that’s bad for it? Why? What’s the logic behind that?

    Yeah, a personal trainer thinks the purpose of being alive is to be physically fit. There are other views. There’s no appearance of "dissonance" here for anybody with sane priorities.

  6. some guy says:

    In any culture where moral relativism reigns, hypocrisy is seen as being the only real sin. That is, because I cannot judge someone else because I believe smoking is bad (obviously the other guy might not believe that, and we must respect each other’s beliefs), I can only judge him because he is a hypocrite.

    Personally, I think it’s ok to say that some things are always wrong. Murder, for example, is always wrong. Smoking not so much, so long as I don’t smell it; it makes me sneeze.

  7. I’d expect that a great many people find it easier to start exercising than to stop smoking, because both smoking and exercising are fun. They also both happen to relieve stress. Why replace one stress reliever with another when you can use both?

  8. tomas says:

    Why cant i create registry keys under HKCU in Windows 2000 (no SP) on admin account, while i can create those keys on non admin account, this is so weird…

  9. Shog9 says:


    Funny thing – you actually have to be smoking *and* lifting a 20" monitor over your head in order to create registry keys under HKCU in Windows 2000.

    I believe this was fixed in SP4…

  10. silkio says:

    it’s good that smokers exercise.

    hopefully they all exercise by running; thusly they will be further away from me while they are also smoking.

  11. Smokey says:

    Actually, I find it next to impossible smoking after a good exercise on the road bike. I takes hours before I even consider grabbing a smoke. I also take a long break before jumping on the bike, as it really cuts down enormously on ones lung performance. It’s really a great way to cut down/stop smoking actually.

  12. dan.g. says:

    i wonder how many of those 20% also smoked *while* exercising?

  13. Chris Becke says:

    "dissonant behavior such as pigging out on ice cream after a workout."

    Thats actually not so bad. If you are gonna pig out on Ice Cream, after a workout is the best time – at least according to the studies ive read imply that up to 4 hours after excercise your bodies muscle’s insulin response improves, and any sugars you consume will be metabolized by muscles for the purposes of building and energy, and thus be unavialable to get stored by fat cells.

  14. Phoenix says:

    That’s just life …

  15. Brian says:

    I bike 1.5 hours a day, work out at the gym 4 times a week – and I’m still smokin’ 4 or 5 cigarettes a day…  I get comments from people at work all the time about it – they’re amazed that someone so into fitness can still be a smoker and all…

    The article was an eye opener though…  I mean – being so into exercise makes me feel as though it’s not affecting me that badly…  All my smoker friends who don’t exerciserun 10 steps and they’re coughing and hacking away, wheras I can run 45 minutes without feeling the effects…  Very interesting to know that your chances of lung cancer are not changes whatsoever in the long term…

  16. JeffCurless says:

    Chris Becke:  Thats called your anabolic window.  On a highly stressful workout, your body becomes anabolic for several hours after your workout.  This allows you to take in more protien.  Adding a certain amount of simple sugars and carbs creates an insulin spike, which increases your anabolic state, therefore allowing even more protien to be absorbed and used properly.  Thats why it is important to have a properly mixed protien shake before and after your workout to gain maximum benefit from what you just did.

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