Have you been smoking for a while? You might be wondering if quitting is even worth it. Maybe the nicotine and craving withdrawal just turn you off to the idea of quitting smoking.
Find out more in this video about what really happens to your body after you quit smoking for a day, a month, and a year.
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In a nutshell:
One day after cigarette withdrawal.
It takes less time than it takes to watch one episode of the sitcom, for your body to get better.
After 20 minutes of quitting smoking, your pulse and blood pressure will start to drop back to normal, while your hands and feet will warm up to their usual temperature.
Halfway through your first day of not smoking, your body’s carbon monoxide level will be back to normal. And your heart will thank you.
Why? Because now it doesn’t have to pump so hard just to get enough oxygen to your body.
Cigarettes contain a lot of different known toxins, which include carbon monoxide, which is a gas present in cigarette smoke.
This gas is harmful or fatal for your body in high doses, and it prevents oxygen from entering the blood and lungs.
When you inhale it in large doses in a short time, you can experience suffocation from lack of oxygen.
After just 12 hours without a cigarette, your body will cleanse itself of the excess carbon monoxide you get from the cigarettes.
A month after cigarette withdrawal
During this time, you are already making huge strides. You will be able to do more because your lungs are getting stronger and clearer, and your blood flow is now improved.
You can already exercise without panting too much, and your risk of a heart attack becomes lesser.
You already made it through the hardest part of withdrawal. But, you may probably still experience cravings.
Everyone has different triggers for urging to smoke. You can’t stop them all at the same time, but you can stick to your plan. You may ask for help if you need it.
Think about the money that you are able to save, or try 10 nice and slow deep breaths.
Within few weeks of quitting smoking, you may even start to notice that not only your breathing gets easier, but you’re also walking easier.
It is because of the improved circulation and oxygenation.
Your lung function increases as much as 30 percent after 3-4 weeks after stopping smoking.
As your lungs heal and your lung capacity improves, as a former smoker, you may notice less coughing and shortness of breath.
Your athletic endurance increases and you may also notice a renewed ability for cardiovascular activities, such as running and jumping.
Such health changes can experience 1 month after cigarette withdrawal.
You will be able to feel a sense of heightened overall energy.
A Year after cigarette withdrawal
At the end of year 1, you should go and treat yourself.
You’ve already reached a milestone, and your risk of heart disease is now half of what it was a year ago.
Your lungs will experience dramatic health improvements in terms of capacity and functioning.
The delicate, hair-like structures inside your lungs, which are known as cilia have already recovered from the toll cigarette smoke took on them.
These structures will help push mucus out of the lungs and help fight infections.
You may also notice a decrease in the frequency of lung infections, mainly because the healed cilia can now do their job more easily.
You will notice how much easier it is for you to breathe when you’re exerting yourself and how much less coughing you will experience compared to when you smoked.
Most of the ex-smokers feel a sudden letdown once they passed the three-month mark as the physical improvements taper off while the cigarette cravings may persist.
But, this doesn’t mean that your health isn’t continuing to improve.
As a result, you will start to feel more energized, and you will now be able to perform various daily activities with less shortness of breath and fatigue.
The improvements you may see with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease or COPD will depend on the severity of your condition.
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