As we move into the second month of 2018 are you still on track with meeting your goals for this year? May people set a goal of smoking cessation. That’s a good one. Health benefits begin to happen within the first hour after your last cigarette. Smoking elevates the heart rate, but not in a good way like that of a brisk walk. It is elevated due to decreased oxygen in the blood caused by smoking. The heart works harder to deliver what oxygen there is to areas of the body that need it. Your heart rate will return to a more normal level within the first half hour of your last cigarette and you are on your way to better health.
Within 12 hours after that last smoke your oxygen levels begin to return to a more normal level. This is due to the decrease of carbon monoxide in the blood. Carbon monoxide is released from burning tobacco and inhaled with the smoke. Carbon monoxide is toxic in high levels in the body. We have home detector systems for the stuff. It also bonds well with blood cells which prevents them from bonding with oxygen which pretty much feeds every organ we have. This lack of oxygen causes many problems especially for the heart, lungs and brain. The good news is within 12 hours carbon monozide begins to decrease and oxygen to increase. Within one full day of being a non-smoker your risk of coronary artery disease begins to lower.
At two days smoke free you will notice an improvement in your sense of smell and taste. At 2 weeks your withdrawal symptoms will decrease and at 3 weeks you will be able to exercise and perform physical activity without feeling winded. Blood circulation and heart function will be improved and your lungs will begin to clear. Less coughing will occur after a month or two. After one year smoke free your risk of heart disease drops to half that of a smoker. By 5 years your risk of stroke is as low as a non-smoker. By 10 years your risk of lung cancer is also the same as a non-smoker. Risk of other cancers lowers at 10 years as well. At 15 years your risk of heart disease is the same as a non-smoker.
The health benefits of quitting smoking are many. Non-smokers generally live 10 years longer than smokers. Give it up if you can and enjoy 10 more years of a healthy active lifestyle.