T Nation

Ex Smokers

44 and just back to training.Lost 70 lbs and things are going well.I just took the last step and quit smoking,I hope I have its been a week(forever for me.I kind of had to,i couldnt make the progress i wanted because my wind would give out before my muscles.

Ok at the begining but as I started to progress i started getting sets like 100lbs for 10 fine then try 110 and get7 110 again and get 3.I figured out I am unable to get oxegen to the muscle.

So any over 40 ex -smokers out there.The question is can you repair the damage to your lungs and heart and if so how long to see an improvment.
Thanks .

I turn 43 in a couple weeks .

Quit smoking about a year and a half ago .
Gained close to 20 pounds (all fat)during the following 12 month period .People started to notice .

Joined the local “Y” this past February…used the wieght-machines , elipticals , and racketball to get back down to about 170 (5’7"); about 10 weeks .

Went in for a physical in March . CT-scan reveals a nodule ( as in not supposed to be there) in the lower quadrant of my right lung.

Started lifting free-wieghts in May ; powerlifter co-worker got me started .

Been reading these boards for a couple months now…first post , right here . Cleaned my diet up by about 80% ; I dont eat perfectly clean , but I dont need to . And it’s a hell of a lot cleaner/healthier than most .

Ive made tremendous gains in the past few months . I push pussy wieght compared to most around here , but thats o.k. for now ; bench , squat , deads , and a bunch of trimmings…no isolation .

I waited six freakin’ months for my follow-up CT-scan…which was last week . the “nodule” is still there , but it didnt get any bigger… guess I get to keep liftin’.

In response to your questions…
I dont know the answers . 6 months would be a guess as to how long it would take to show an improvement . I thought about this also . I finally settled on the theory that it’s just as important to not do any more damage .

And those greedy bastards at P Morris are’nt getting my 3 bucks tomorrow…that I know for a fact .

Im 36 and smoked from 15 to 32.
I gained 75lbs the first year and lost it the following 2.
Looking back I honestly dont think its that hard although I do believe that you have to be ready for it. I tried 2 times before unsuccesfully, but it wasnt until i told myself this was it, that i was succesful.

I’m in the over 40 category and I smoked from 14 to 35.

Yeah, I put on weight when I gave up but the feeling that I HAD to give my money to a tobacco company every day, pissed me off so much that I stayed determined to stop.

I’m still fatter than I’d like but I’ve never EVER been sorry I stopped.
Each 10 years of smoking would be now costing me around $25,000 - Fuck that!

I’ve heard that the body starts to repair the lungs after about 6 months. I’d hate to see how my cardio workouts would go if I hadn’t stopped.

Stay with it mate, you won’t be sorry.

And, at the risk of prattling on, I can’t stand hospitals and I’ve watched my mum die from cancer (she never had a smoke in her life, but I won’t use that as my excuse to keep smoking) and seeing people die from this horrible disease is disgusting. Why increase the odds of getting it?

Your lung capacity should improve in a month or two. That’s what I have experienced. I have quitted many times, but once I quit to be able to run better. After 3 weeks I noticed a clear improvement.

Benefits of quitting smoking, between 2 weeks and 3 months:

  • circulation improves
  • walking becomes easier
  • lung function increases

Please keep us updated, it would be great if you quit and i know you would have a shitload of support here.

I didnt address you answer… i believe my lungs felt back to normal after 1 year. Problem was i gained wieght which placed a bigger stress on breathing. Once i lost the weight, everything felt like a million dollars.

It can take up to 5 years for your lungs to totally repair themselves, but they will be as healthy as a person who has never smoked within that time period. And will you miss smoking? Yes, you can ask anyone who has smoked and has quit, and most will say they still even years later have an occational craving for a cigarette. However, if you can quit, DO! It’s incredibly hard on the body.

Hello everybody. I am 38 and an ex smoker of 21 years. I finally was able to quit smoking with the help of lifeline clinics, which uses the shots that go behind your ears, 1 shot behind each ear. It worked for me ( I tried everything that was on the market with no luck), I have been smoke free for 10 months now, and loving it. I cant believe I ever smoked, what an idiot I was. I gained 30 pounds in 3 months after quitting smoking, I was 235, now 265 ( I thought , holy crap, I’m a fat boy)
I have been reading this website and taking notes for about 6 months now,and learning tons. I finally have my nutritional intake under control, and working out like a madman. Slowly shedding fat and gaining muscle. My stamina is slowly increasing, I can even run a mile now without a break. I know it will be a long road to repair all the damage I have done to myself from years of smoking ( and all the other crazy stuff), but I will get there. I see improvements every week.
I would just like to say that I have gotten a ton of information and motivation from this website, more here than I could get anywhere else.
Thank you,
mepacho

I am now 52 - I quit smoking about 13 years ago after smoking over one pack for over 20 years. When I quit, I could run and do physical exercise which was necessary because I was in the military. However, it was not a fun experience and usually entailed a lot of coughing and hacking, and a long recovery time.

Today, my lungs are not a problem, I can breath easily when I hike or run, and all is well. The doc says my lungs are clear and have a better than average capacity for my age.

So, stay off the cigs and your health will definately improve, as will your wallet (I really am amazed people still smoke with the price of cigs today).

Good luck.

[quote]backer wrote:
So any over 40 ex-smokers out there. The question is can you repair the damage to your lungs and heart and if so how long to see an improvment.
Thanks .[/quote]

Lungs yes.
Heart/cardiovascular not so good.

Ah smoking, it involves being both the one of dumbest and smartest things I’ve done in my life. Those are starting and stopping of course. It’ll be 20 yrs since I quit this coming january. I was just 22 at the time and had a fast metabolism and was skinny as hell, shit about 145 @ 5’11". I gained barely an ounce at the time. I’ve saved so much money since then,wow. Stick with it. If I’m not mistaken quite a bit of lung function, at least of not totally damaged lung, will return. Good luck with it.

Lung capacity can definitely improve. As for the cardiovascular issue, one way to look at it would be that you’ve spent years doing stuff that you know for sure hurts heart health so why not go the other way now? Plenty of heart-healthy diets on the web and a recent article here on “The Brain Diet” has all the info you need. Basically get the fish oil and antioxidants going and you’ll be doing the best that you can for yourself. I personally also supplement with enzymes (Vitalzym) to fight inflammation and my blood work and cardiac recovery rate was so good, my doctor had the tests redone because he couldn’t belive a 55 year old man could have the numbers typical of his 30 year old patients. I smoked for 20 years and quit 15 years ago.

[quote]backer wrote:
44 and just back to training.Lost 70 lbs and things are going well.I just took the last step and quit smoking,I hope I have its been a week(forever for me.I kind of had to,i couldnt make the progress i wanted because my wind would give out before my muscles.

Ok at the begining but as I started to progress i started getting sets like 100lbs for 10 fine then try 110 and get7 110 again and get 3.I figured out I am unable to get oxegen to the muscle.

So any over 40 ex -smokers out there.The question is can you repair the damage to your lungs and heart and if so how long to see an improvment.
Thanks .[/quote]

I’m 49, and have been smoke free for almost 10 years. I recently read that if you remain smoke free for 8-10 years, your heart, lungs and risk factors can return to the same form/level as that of a non-smoker. hang in there!!!

10 days and going strong.Thanks for your suport guys.

This might be useful to you:

http://whyquit.com

…guy’s got a pretty straight-on approach to it.

As for when you will see improvement…
it depends.
It takes about three days nicotine free for your body to flush out all the reserves. After that your system needs to “recalibrate” to function without it. And this can be the challenging part.

For me…breathing improved right-away, my sinus’ depressurized on day #1, and my complexion lightened by day #3 (yep…smoked that heavily).

But I didn’t feel detox symptoms until day #7 and they continued until about day #14 (at the time the joke around the house was that I was going for the record). I had to lay up the workout until the blood sugar stabilized again.

Just don’t get discouraged if it seems to be getting worse instead of better.

As painful as it was for me, there were some huge (but not obvious before-hand) positives.

Residual muscle tension improved tenfold. My training sessions took off like a rocket with the same effort I’d put out before (no exaggerations, three and four-hour ground-and-pound sessions for the energy I used to expend to get through a one hour session…funny what you can do when your body gets oxygen). But more importantly, the body’s ability to metabolize caffeine decreases. So now a regular cup of coffee is like a power hit!!!

Humans start losing lung functional capacity (alveolae) in their adulthood no matter what. God knew humans were dumb so he gave us more lung capacity than we need, so even with that loss, most of us should have no problems with aging.

Problem is that smoking speeds up the losing process, so a smoker might end up dependent on supplemental oxygen once a certain threshold is reached. After quitting the natural losing process returns to presmoking speed, so

  1. your lungs do not grow back and

  2. one might still end up with lung problems even many years after quitting.

What improves and returns to normal or near normal is the cells lining your wind pipes that help with clearing secretions and mucus. Also there will be no more irritants and vasoconstrictors/bronchoconstrictors from tobacco smoke. Lung cancer risk returns to nonsmoker levels after about 15-20 yrs of not smoking. Risk of heart attack returns to nonsmoker levels after 1-3 yrs.

There is nothing better a smoker could do than quitting. Absolutely nothing.

Good luck!

Best of luck to you! 45 here and smoke free for 4 years. My doc told me my risk of heart disease drops in half as soon as I quit, and lungs will take 10 years to heal.

I quit smoking a little over two months ago but I’m a cheater cuz I took up dippin instead! Iknow, I know, I could get mouth cancer but right now I don’t give a shit, I am so glad I quit inhaling smoke into my lungs! I don’t reek like smoke any more, I don’t have to stand outside in the boiling humidity or nut numbing cold to smoke anymore. I can run up a couple flights of stairs without breathing hard - its freakin awesome.

Before some self-righteous SOB starts busting my balls about being a skoal brother,please keep this in mind…I already know the dangers of chewing tobacco, I’ve seen pictures of dudes without jaws and shit, and one day I will quit this disgusting habit too, but right now I am STOKED because I smoked for 20 yrs and i finally stopped doing THAT!

If you have tried to quit and cannot, You may want to check out lifeline clinics, it worked for me. It is expensive( $500.00) but for me it paid for itself in 3 months of not buying smokes, plus there is no price for health.

www.stopsmokingjacksonville.com

Once on the web page there is a map of all their locations.

Best of luck
Cheers
mepacho

3 weeks and going strong thanks guys.