Back in the “good old days,” things were acceptable that we wouldn’t even dream of now. You could smoke in restaurants, on airplanes, and pretty much anywhere else. It seems crazy by today’s standards, but that’s how it was. By now, it’s pretty common knowledge that smoking damages our bodies in a myriad of ways. In fact, every time you inhale cigarette smoke, your heart rate and blood pressure spike. These spikes puts extra stress on your heart and forces it to work harder, and even though it’s for a little while, there are constant spikes if you smoke regularly.
Even worse, smoking impacts those around us, too. Keep reading to learn more about smoking and why giving it up before this year is through is a great idea.
One of the biggest ways smoking impacts our health is over the long term. Over time it:
- Fills the lungs with tar
- Increases inflammation
- Thickens the blood
- Weakens bones
- Clogs the arteries
- Increases clotting
- Weakens the immune system
Plus, did you know that smoking causes about one third of deaths that are attributed to cardiovascular disease? Smoking increases the risk of coronary heart disease, but if you have additional risk factors, it can be incredibly dangerous. For example, if you smoke, you may have a lower tolerance for physical activity, or less likely to exercise at all. This represents additional risk to your health.
Unfortunately, those who smoke regularly have a higher risk of developing many chronic disorders, including heart attack, peripheral artery disease, atherosclerosis, aortic aneurysm, and stroke. The good news is that quitting can lower your risk of these diseases, and faster than you may think. After just three weeks of not smoking, your HDL (good cholesterol) levels can increase by up to 30 percent, and your risk of heart attack drops by up to 30 percent after a year of quitting.
If you’re ready to learn more about smoking and your cholesterol, contact us today at (928) 537-6303 to schedule a consultation. We want to help you stay healthy, so start making better choices today!