We don’t have to tell you smoking is bad for you. In addition to putting yourself at risk for developing cancer in your lungs, esophagus, throat, kidney, bladder, pancreas or stomach, smoking also drastically increasing your risk of heart disease. People who smoke are two to four times more likely to develop heart disease than non-smokers. The good news: the benefits of quitting smoking are almost immediate once you stop.
It’s not too late to enter into 2015 as a smoke-free and healthier version of yourself. If quitting smoking is one of your New Year’s resolutions, try these 5 tips to kick the habit for your heart health.
Find a Support Group
Going through something difficult is easier when you have others to lean on. Motivate a friend to stop smoking with you and use each other for encouragement. When you feel yourself tempted to slip, turn to each other to stay strong.
Write It Down
Sometimes, remembering why you want to do something is a powerful enough motivator to stick to healthier choices. Write down all of the reasons why you want to quit smoking and keep the piece of paper in your pocket or wallet for quick reference.
When cravings hit, find a suitable way to distract yourself to get over the initial struggle. Exercise, take up a new hobby or spend time with other non-smoking friends. By keeping busy, you can train your body to adopt new, healthier habits.
Use a Nicotine Replacement
If the craving for nicotine is too overwhelming, turn to a nicotine replacement product instead of another cigarette. Try gum, patches, or lozenges when you feel a craving coming on to reduce the negative side effects.
Avoid Your Triggers
If you’re someone who generally follows a pattern with where and when you smoke, try to avoid situations and triggers that might make the cravings more intense. For instance, if you always have a cigarette with your morning coffee, try switching to tea or going to a public coffee shop where the option is removed.
Quitting smoking may be one of the hardest things you’ve ever done, but it’s well worth the effort. Just because you’ve tried to quit in the past or slipped up recently doesn’t mean the fight is over. Keep trying. Your body will thank you.
Looking for more tips to lead a healthier, happier life? Download our free guide, “6 Steps to a Fit and Active Lifestyle.”