Are you considering trying to quit smoking to improve your quality of life? This decision may turn out to be one of the most positive health choices you ever make. Before you throw away your current pack, learn more about how your body will benefit and steps you can take to ease the transition to a non-smoking lifestyle.
Is it Worthwhile to Quit Smoking as You Age?
Maybe you have used your age as an excuse to continue smoking. You may believe it’s too late and you would rather enjoy your habit than make the effort to discontinue. According to the National Institute of Health, people of all ages benefit immensely when they quit smoking, but seniors who quit can literally add years to their life by cutting out the habit.
According to the National Institute of Health, only 20 minutes after you quit, your heart rate slows to a more healthy speed. 12 hours after your last cigarette, your carbon monoxide blood levels reduce to normal. Only two weeks after you quit smoking, your lungs begin to function better and you have a lower risk of heart attack. The American Lung Association reports that one year after an individual stops smoking, their risk of heart disease is reduced by almost 50 percent. 65-year-old men who quit smoking live 1.4 to 2 years longer and women live 2.7 to 3.4 years longer.
If these facts motivate you, it’s time to take action and begin taking the necessary steps to quit smoking fast and improve your health today. Before you start, follow these suggestions to aid in your efforts.
Spread the Word
If you have tried to quit smoking before and failed, maybe you feel discouraged and are reluctant to give it another attempt. The best way to approach your goal to quit smoking is to communicate with supportive friends and family. Let them know the reasons you want to quit and any fears or insecurities you may have. It is important to have a community of people who can encourage you when you are disheartened and to remind you of your goals when you start to slip.
Form a Plan
Are you going to quit smoking fast by stopping “cold turkey?” Will you gradually reduce your tobacco intake over a set period of time? Make a plan you feel will work for your personality and habit, write down the details and stick to it.
During the initial withdrawal stages, it is vital to stay physically and mentally active and provide healthy distraction for your body and brain. Join an exercise class with non-smoking friends. Plan a movie or game night. Chew gum or suck on sugar-free candy. Challenge yourself to drink a set amount of water per day. Keep healthy, crunchy vegetables on hand.
Remove Lifestyle Triggers
Throw away all smoking paraphernalia like ashtrays and lighters. If smoking fit into a part of your daily routine, change the routine. Do not drink coffee or alcohol if it will instigate tobacco cravings.
Utilize Medicare Coverage
Medicare Part B pays for eight in-person smoking cessation counseling sessions per year. The provider must be approved by your Medicare plan and you will pay nothing out-of-pocket for the visits.
If you have additional questions about insurance coverage that may aid in your goal to quit smoking, contact the team at My Senior Health Plan today to find out more.