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Run to quit smoking program accepting registrants

A 10-week program aimed to help smokers quit through running is looking for participants to jog their way to better health.

“Run to Quit,” sponsored by the Canadian Cancer Society, the Public Health Agency of Canada and the Running Room, began April 13 at the Westdale Running Room, 1457 Main St. W., but is accepting registrants until April 27.

The program began last year in six provinces and, according to a University of British Columbia evaluation team, has had positive results.

The UBC team found that 40 per cent of the 83 participants surveyed after six months said they had quit smoking. Many others said they had cut back on smoking. The survey also found that 43 per cent are running three times per week on average.

The step-by-step program trains participants at all levels of fitness to run or walk five kilometres.

Hamilton Run to Quit participant Brenda Sparks, had been a smoker for more than 30 years when she decided to quit and start exercising. Sparks said she found it helpful to work the program with other smokers.

“It meant that I had somebody to be accountable to,” Sparks is quoted in a Run to Quit media release. “It was also helpful knowing that they were going through the same things as me. It made me want to quit. I didn’t want to disappoint them.”

Other Run to Quit programs are being held at Running Room locations in Burlington, 3300 Fairview St. and in Oakville, 156 Lakeshore Rd E.

For more information and to register online, visit the website runtoquit.com.



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