The benefits of quitting smoking
Another year has flown past and January generally marks the time where everyone likes to set goals for themselves. It’s a bit of a cliché, but it’s the time for New Year’s Resolutions. It’s a great time to have a goal in mind for your year and more importantly your health.
One of the most common New Year’s Resolutions is quitting smoking. It’s a habit worth breaking. It benefits your health, your social life as well as your wallet. It can improve your overall appearance, improve your oral health and help you stress less.
- Smoother Skin: smoking can lead to premature aging. This is due to the chemicals found in cigarette smoke that can damage collagen and elastin. Nicotine may also cause the narrowing of your blood vessels which means that less oxygen and nutrients are able to get to your skin.
- Oral Health: a noticeable side effect of smoking is yellow teeth. The nicotine stains the enamel on your teeth turning them yellow or even brown. Smoking has also been found to be a huge risk in causing gum disease.
- Thicker Hair: Like you skin your hair needs a good blood flow for good health. The restriction of your blood vessels while smoking derives your hair follicles from receiving adequate oxygen and nutrients needed for healthy hair growth.
- Improved Fitness: Many people gain weight when quitting smoking. Incorporating healthy eating and a fitness routine into your ‘quit plan’ will help ease your worries around weight gain during your smoke-free journey. The exercise will also help reduce cravings and help manage withdrawal symptoms. By quitting smoking you can improve your circulation and lung function. This will help your overall fitness performance.
- Less stress: it is common for smokers to say that the nicotine in cigarettes help relieve their stress and anxiety. This is usually said in comparison to nicotine withdrawals which produces symptoms like anxiety and irritability which is then relieved with smoking. Smoking heightens anxiety and tension. Once overcoming the nicotine withdrawal symptoms overall stress levels decrease.
- The health of those around you: by quitting smoking you are protecting your family’s health and those close to you. Secondhand smoke can cause heart disease, lung cancer and strokes. This isn’t something you would want to impose on someone close to you.
- The average smoker spends $20 a day on cigarettes which equates to $600 a month.
- The potential savings is significant to the average person.
- Choose a quit date and stick with it. This will help you mentally prepare
- Make a list of all the reasons for why you are quitting. Place it somewhere you will see it often. This will help keep your resolve strong by reassuring yourself of your reasons when your resolve may weaken.
- Use the money you save to treat yourself. Set up a special quitting jar or savings account for it. Deciding what to spend it on is the fun part and is a reward for your efforts.
- Identify what makes you crave a cigarette. Cut back on whatever it is that you commonly associate smoking with e.g. drinking alcohol.
- Keep yourself busy. This will help you resist the urges to smoke.
- Work out. Physical activity is a great way of handling your cravings and helps with your overall health.
- Nicotine replacement can help you handle your nicotine cravings and withdrawals. This will help double your chances of quitting. Sometimes we need a little help when willpower alone isn’t quite enough.
- Seek expert help. It makes sense to seek out a health professional’s help when tackling something like quitting smoking. You can seek expert advice from your pharmacist or doctor.
- Reward yourself. At special milestones on your smoke-less journey give yourself a meaningful reward.
- Above all else – stay positive!