Side Street Style: Keep your heart healthy & support National No Smoking Day

Side Street Style

A family travel and lifestyle blog

20/02/2017

Keep your heart healthy & support National No Smoking Day


happy living



Neither John or I smoke and luckily none of our immediate family does either as personally I wouldn't be comfortable with it around the kids. One or two extended family members do however as well as a few friends, some of whom are parents and are really trying to lessen the habit or quit altogether. Being a parent has certainly made me more passionate about being more conscious of how we treat each other and the planet and keeping the air clean is something that affects us all.

The thing with any kind of addictions is that it's not easy to walk away or let go, you need to have support and full support at that without quilt or judgement. The question should never be why you started as there are so many reasons to this, peer pressure, wanting to be accepted or you may have parents or family members who smoke and it simply became a natural progression. What we can do as friends is be supportive to those who are trying to make the change to a healthier and happier way of living, especially on National Stop Smoking Day on the 8th March.

National Stop Smoking Day is also backed by a charity that is literally close to my heart - The British Heart Foundation, as some of you may know in in 2014 I had a surgical procedure to fix a minor heart defect, unfortunate the surgery was not successful but it provided a lot more insight into my defect and how to cope with it better & not let it affect my active and out-going outlook on life. Back to March the 8th and No Smoking day promotes giving up through positive encouragement, education on the benefits of stopping and advice on the best ways to quit.



wanderlust



The health benefits of stopping smoking

Most people will know that smoking is bad for our health. For anyone thinking of quitting, spelling out the health benefits of quitting can be a powerful motivator. Here are just some of the health improvements you’ll see, if you stop smoking.


Longer life

Statistics relating to smoking and longevity make for grim reading, with around half of all long-term smokers dying prematurely, from diseases such as lung cancer or heart disease. No matter what age you decide to stop smoking, it will increase the odds of you living to a healthier, happier old age.

Easy breathing

Smoking has a huge impact on your lung function and your ability to breathe easily. In less than a year, people who have given up smoking should see a 10% improvement in lung capacity, and should breathe more easily and cough less.

Reduced stress levels

Whilst some people claim that they smoke to calm their stress levels, it has actually been proved that non-smokers suffer less from stress than smokers. Quitting will reduce your overall stress levels, making you feel happier and calmer.

Fertility improvements

Smoking has a negative effect on both men and women, in terms of fertility. Men’s sperm can be less potent, and women can find it harder to get pregnant. Stopping smoking reverses this, and also reduces the chances of miscarriage and improves the chances of having a healthy baby.




active lifestyle


Improved energy levels

Within just a few weeks of quitting, your blood circulation will improve noticeably, and your immune system will be rejuvenated. You’ll have more energy for physical exercise, such as walking or running, and you’ll be less susceptible to viruses and minor ailments.

Whiter teeth and cleaner breath

As any non-smoker will confirm, smoking causes your teeth to stain and become yellowed, and your breath to smell. All that will improve after giving up, and you’ll also lessen the chances of gum disease or premature tooth loss.

Better skin

Regular smoking can give people a pale, creased complexion, but this can be reversed by giving up. Non-smokers have been shown to have fewer wrinkles and younger looking skin.

Improved sense of smell and taste

As well as making your clothes smell and your teeth and nails go yellow, smoking cigarettes actually dulls your sense of smell and taste. The toxic chemicals in cigarettes affect the tongue through a process known as vascularisation, making the taste buds lose their shape over time. Smoking doesn’t kill taste buds, but it does make them much less effective at sending signals to your brain about the food you’re eating. Once you’ve stopped smoking, your taste buds and sense of smell will recover, allowing you to really enjoy food once again.



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The best way to quit

It has been proven that people are more likely to be successful at permanently giving up smoking if they combine a supportive network of friends and family with an initial nicotine replacement so that you lessen your withdrawals. To start with nicotine replacement therapies are more effective than almost any other method of giving up as they ease the user off slowly. These therapies include patches, lozenges, chewing gum, inhalers or nasal sprays as well as more recent effective nicotine replacement e-cigarettes. Also when your in the process of quiting it's really important to keep yourself busy, take on a new hobby perhaps such as yoga which is very relaxing, also focus on yourself, eating good food and nourishing your body and mind with positivity and supportive surroundings.

Public Health England has produced an independent review showing that e-cigarettes have real potential for helping people to give up a the beginning of their quitting process and a study funded by Cancer Research UK found that e-cigarettes were 95% less harmful than conventional cigarettes although should be used as a tool to quit and there has still be plenty of debate around the topic in the past.

If you or a friend are trying to quit this year the best thing is to have a plan, get organised, surround yourself with people who are going to support you and do things slowly and one day at a time. This approach has a fair higher success rate than going cold turkey and putting your body through massive withdrawals which is hard for anyone to cope with. Do check out the British Heart Foundation for Tips on quitting 

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4 comments:

  1. Never smoked - tried it a few times when younger but never took to it - luckily. I was surprised that it affected fertility or energy levels. Not something i knew. Learn something new everyday, i guess :) x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah it affects so much. We don't smoke either but I think it's important to support those who do to stop in a healthy way

      Laura x

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  2. I am glad there are days such as this and I think we can all do with the reminders of how bad smoking is x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Very true, they are terrible for your health and also cost so much!

      Laura x

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Lovely comments

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