Smoking cigarettes can be one tough habit to break. For older adults who have smoked for many decades, nicotine addiction can feel like an impossible habit to kick. Many seniors also believe that the damage to their body has been done and there is no point in trying to quit now.
Fortunately, nothing could be further from the truth. There are health benefits that can be reaped from giving up smoking no matter how young or old you are.
Benefits to Your Health When You Stop Smoking
If you or a senior loved one is a smoker, know that it’s never too late to stop. The health benefits of kicking the nicotine habit begin almost immediately. Even if you’ve tried unsuccessfully to quite many times before, here are a few reasons why you should try again:
- Your heart rate and blood pressure begin to slow down within 30 minutes of stopping smoking. If you are a heavy smoker, that impact can be especially significant. Chain smokers often live with high blood pressure and an elevated heart rate.
- If you go 48 hours without having a cigarette, your lungs will start to clear.
- At the 72 hour mark, your body will be free from nicotine.
- Smokers who quit will notice a spike in energy and that breathing becomes easier after just 4 days without a cigarette.
Remember, it doesn’t matter how old you are when you give up smoking. You will still reap these health rewards.
The Long-Term Benefits of Kicking the Habit
Over the long-run, smokers who quit will benefit even more.
- Fewer colds and illnesses: Smokers experience more incidences of colds, flu, and bronchitis than non-smokers. After you’ve stopped smoking for a few months, you will begin to notice you don’t get sick as often.
- Lower risk of heart disease: Smoking is the leading cause of heart attacks. No matter how old you are when you quit your risk for heart disease will begin to decline. This decline will continue as long as you cease smoking.
- Reduce your cancer risk: Stopping smoking will also help to reduce your risk for a variety of different types of cancer, including cancer of the lung, colon, esophagus, and throat.
- Save money: Depending on how heavy a smoker you or a senior loved one are, giving up smoking can provide a boost to your financial well-being. This is another benefit most of us will enjoy!
If you are interested in reading more about successful aging and how you can live a longer, healthier life, we encourage you to bookmark the Five Star blog and stop back often. We share new resources and articles several times each week!