5 Minute Coffee Break - Love Your Heart
Published at 07 February, 2023.
Stopping smoking is one of the best things you can do for your heart. Chemicals from smoking damage your blood vessels and your heart and doubles the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
Recent research shows that smoking just one cigarette per day raises your risk. Smoking is making the LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) stickier, making it stick to your artery walls. Smoking is increasing your heart rate. Your blood is now thicker as the blood vessels contract and there is less oxygen being carried around your body. Your heart is now working harder, and faster and blood clots may form, and heart attacks and strokes are now riskier.
Your health will start to improve within minutes when you stop smoking. Within 20 minutes blood pressure returns to normal. As the nicotine and carbon monoxide levels fall the oxygen in the blood returns to normal in 8 hours. Your heart rate has returned to normal and within a day your lungs start to work better, breathing becomes easier and energy levels increase over the coming days. The health benefits continue over the weeks and months and within 6 months your risk of heart attack begins to fall, within a year it will half and in 15 years it will be the same as that of a person who has never smoked!
What a great motivation to start your quit attempt this February!
Smokers are twice as likely to have a heart attack compared with people who have never smoked and especially risky if you have already been diagnosed with a heart condition.
Don`t forget your loved ones either, as they will also benefit when you stop smoking. People who regularly breathe in second-hand smoke are more likely to get the same diseases as smokers, including heart disease. Following a heart-healthy lifestyle will protect your loved ones, especially your children, and they will also have a good example to follow and be less likely to take up smoking themselves.
Stopping smoking is the single most important thing you can do to protect your heart health. Give your heart the love it deserves this Valentine's Day by stopping smoking.