The long-term benefits of giving up on cigarettes is irrefutable. But what are the immediate and gradual effects?
So you have done the impossible. You have decided that it’s not going to be this month, next week, or tomorrow. You have given up smoking and you might even feel really good about this detour to a happier, healthier lifestyle. What you may not know is internally your body is already fixing those years and years of damage. Smoking has some nasty implications on your health, but thankfully your body starts working in overdrive to rectify this almost immediately. Here are the effects giving up on the habit has from the first 20 minutes to It’s fascinating stuff!
Within the first 20 minutes your heart rate will begin to drop to normal levels. Smoking causes your heart to beat much faster than a non-smoker’s for long periods of time. This is not a good thing. Blood being pumped at a fast rate consistently means your heart is actually being strained to provide oxygen to your body effectively. This results in one feeling lethargic, dizzy and light- headed. After you quit smoking, within 20 minutes you’ll notice a higher level of energy and alertness. (If you can keep your mind off from constantly thinking about how much you miss smoking that is.)
After 2 hours your blood pressure will return to near normal levels. Also, your peripheral circulation may also improve. Peripheral circulation is blood flow to the outer borders of your body, meaning your arms, hands, legs and feet, and the outer layer of your skin. Blood rich in nutrients and oxygen will be provided to these parts of your body by a heart that is not being made to work unfairly hard as it used to when you were still smoking. Your complexion will improve, and your body will start to feel warmer. Unfortunately, around the 2 hour mark is also when the first effects of nicotine craving will start kicking in. Be strong and hang in there!
Out of the many dangerous components in cigarette smoke, one of the scariest is carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide bonds exceptionally well to blood cells, which means that it prevents oxygen from bonding to the same cells. This means that your blood will have a considerably lower level of precious oxygen that your body needs to function normally. In fact, blood with low levels of oxygen can cause some serious cardiovascular issues. After 12 hours of your last cancer stick, the carbon monoxide that is already in your system will start to decrease, while your blood oxygen levels will start creeping back to normal. The nicotine levels in your blood will also drop to 93.75%.
Discover top tips for a healthy body and mind with our weekly wellbeing newsletter.
Join our mailing list today.