What does smoking have to do with your heart?
Smoking is a leading cause of atherosclerosis—the hardening of your arteries.
Think of your arteries as happy and elastic pumps. When you smoke, you increase your blood pressure, making your heart work harder to pump blood. Smoking also makes it harder for your blood to carry oxygen because it actually causes your blood to thicken! But it doesn’t stop there.
Smoking causes damage to your once pristine, blood-pumping machines, making them less elastic and more narrow (less circulation meaning less exercise tolerance—double whammy!).
But never fear—there are things you can do to avoid this nasty fate—don’t smoke!
It’s not as easy as it sounds, but it is FAR from impossible.
Here are some tips to quit:
- Set a quit date.
- By knowing when you will quit, you have a date to look forward to and commit to!
- Make a plan.
- Have a plan for triggers. For example, if you know you are going to the pub, have a line ready for when your friends ask you to join them for a smoke, or tell someone who is supportive your plan to quit so you have someone to wait with.
- Ask for support.
- Enlist the help of a friend to keep you motivated on your journey to quit. Make sure this friend knows you are serious and will be a shoulder to lean on when things get tough.
You can do it!
Here’s to being a heart hero!
Check out these great resources: