If you missed the opportunity to quit smoking for New Year’s, quit for American Heart Month. This Monday is an ideal day to start. There are plenty of reasons to quit smoking, and one of the most important reasons is your heart. People who smoke are at an increased risk of heart disease and stroke. Quitting smoking this Monday will put you on a path that will decrease that risk and improve your overall health. This Monday, throw out your cigarettes, put your hand over your heart, and pledge to quit and stay quit!
Many people don’t consider the heart to be the main organ associated with the effects of smoking. While smoking clearly affects the lungs and respiratory system, it has an impact on the cardiovascular system as well. Nicotine raises your heart rate and blood pressure while carbon monoxide causes oxygen levels in your blood and brain to decrease. Cigarettes also increase the risk of blood clots by damaging your blood vessels.
The good news is that quitting smoking on Monday is a step in the right direction! Every year you stay quit, your risk of a heart attack drops by 50 percent. When your body begins to heal itself, you’ll be more able to engage in physical activity and exercise – that can also help fight heart disease. Getting even light exercise and moving around is also a great stress-reliever, which is also important for heart health. Quitting smoking will open you up to a cycle of improvement that will benefit your heart and your overall physical and mental health.
What better day to quit than today? Staying smoke-free is a challenge, but with a solid plan, a network of support, and some old-fashioned willpower, you can do your heart a huge favor by quitting smoking for good.
American Heart Month is officially February, but you can exercise good habits and keep up a healthy, smoke-free lifestyle all year ‘round. Use every Monday to remind yourself of why you’re quitting and recommit to your plan. Your heart will thank you!