‘Learn to Run for Smokers’ has room for more to register

  • Aug. 3, 2011 3:38 p.m.

Beginning Aug.10 people who smoke in Red Deer who are interested in getting fit can take part in a new, eight-week pilot program now available in central Alberta.

The Learn to Run for Smokers program, offered by Alberta Health Services (AHS) Central Zone and the Lung Associations of Nova Scotia and Alberta/Northwest Territories, is designed to promote physical fitness while improving the quality of life for people who smoke through running.

Learn to Run for Smokers is open to participants of all fitness levels. Each weekly training session lasts about 90 minutes, including a warm-up and cool down. A combination of walking, running and stretching regimes are included in each session to ensure safe and effective techniques are developed for a lifetime of running.

According to the Lung Association, 18% of Canadians smoke, and more than half of smokers are currently trying to become tobacco-free.

Also, 37,000 people in Canada die each year through tobacco-related illness.

In regards to cancer, in 2009, there were an estimated 23,400 new cases of lung cancer in Canada: 12,800 among men and 10,700 among women.

On average, 450 Canadians are diagnosed with lung cancer every week.

In 2009, there were an estimated 20,500 lung cancer deaths in Canada. Lung cancer is the leading cause of death due to cancer in Canada. It causes approximately 29% of cancer deaths among men and 22% among women.

On average, 394 Canadians die of lung cancer every week.

One in 11 men is expected to develop lung cancer during his lifetime, and one in 13 men will die of it. One in 16 women is expected to develop lung cancer during her lifetime, and one in 18 women will die of it.

Ultimately, benefits from quitting occur in 48 hours, and within a couple of months your lungs will be functioning 30% better.

Meanwhile, the Learn to Run for Smokers program works to increase participants’ fitness levels, so that by the end of the eight weeks, they are able to complete a five-kilometre walk or run.

There is still room to register in both these programs.

Participants can invite a buddy/ support person to register as well. Cost is $50 per person which covers the cost of course materials and a team t-shirt. Anyone interested in more information about the program is encouraged to visit ns.lung.ca/learntorunforsmokers.