If you dream of seeing the world then it’s time to put down the cigarettes and swap them for an all-new addiction: travel!
If you never travel without a pack of cigarettes then it’s time for some serious talk.
Smoking doesn’t just cut your life short by seven to eight years. Poor lung capacity and a weakened immune system also reduce your quality of life while you’re living it.
But giving up smoking doesn’t just mean more chance of enjoying your traveling experiences. One of the most attractive side effects of quitting smoking is how much money it saves you. If you’re currently smoking a pack a day then that’s US $1887.05 per year which could be going towards your travel fund.
Still need some convincing? Here are the health benefits you can look forward if you quit smoking.
Renewed Sense of Taste and Smell
Although quitting smoking cold turkey can cause headaches and irritability within a few days of your last cigarette, you’ll notice the benefits almost straight away too.
One of the first positive symptoms of quitting smoking is an improved sense of taste and smell. This is because smoking damages the nerve endings that control these senses. As these nerves heal, you may notice a heightened sense of smell and more vivid tastes.
No longer having your taste buds and sense of smell dulled by smoking will make an aromatic Thai dish or a slice of authentic Neapolitan pizza far more tasty and enjoyable. So, if nicotine withdrawal symptoms have got you craving cigarettes, treat yourself to some delicious food instead!
Fresher Breath and Better Oral Health
With a better sense of taste and smell you’ll become more aware of how cigarette odors can hang around on your clothes and hair, and in your mouth too.
While smokers might believe that they can cover their smoker’s breath with a mint or gum, giving up smoking is the surest way to improve your oral health and freshen your breath.
One of the reasons smoking causes bad breath is because of the way it dries out your mouth. Dry mouth reduces the flow of saliva, stopping your mouth from cleansing itself, meaning food particles stick around for longer.
Also, chemicals in cigarettes such as tar and nicotine stick to your teeth, gums, tongue and inner cheeks. This invites bacteria to settle within your mouth and causes bad breath. The bacteria then leads to plaque, which weakens teeth over time and causes staining.
So, yet more positive quitting smoking symptoms include whiter teeth, fresher breath and better oral health. That’s definitely something to smile about!
Restored Lung Function
Another of the early positive symptoms of quitting smoking is being able to breathe more easily.
Within around three days of your last cigarette, the lung’s bronchial tubes begin to relax and open up, increasing your lung capacity and improving the exchange of carbon dioxide and oxygen.
Over the first month, you’ll notice your lung function improving more and more, meaning less coughing and shortness of breath. Your athletic endurance should also increase, making cardiovascular activities such as cycling and running a lot easier.
Greater Flexibility and Movement
Within around two weeks of quitting smoking, you may also start to notice that you’re moving and walking easier as well as breathing easier.
This is due to the improved circulation and oxygenation that come as a result of giving up smoking, whereby your whole body starts to benefit from your improved heart and lung function.
As such, you’ll notice greater flexibility and will soon be able to handle physical challenges like the day-long hike across Tongariro Alpine Crossing.
Healthier Hair and Skin
If the internal health benefits of quitting smoking can’t persuade you to stop then maybe appealing to your vanity can.
You might not realize but the ill-effects of smoking can be seen all over your face. The repeated sucking motion of taking a drag on a cigarette soon causes fine lines on your lips and around your mouth. And the chemicals you inhale while smoking also damage the skin structures from within, leading to a sallow, uneven skin tone, sagging and deep wrinkles.
Nicotine has also been shown to reduce blood and oxygen flow to the scalp, meaning a disrupted hair-growth cycle, as you can learn about on this page.
So, if you want smooth skin and luscious locks, it’s time to stub out your last cigarette.
Improved Ability to Handle Stress
Many smokers reach for a cigarette in times of stress. But within three to six months of quitting, ex-smokers report that they are better able to deal with stress. They also no longer crave cigarettes to help them through stressful times.
Which is just as well since smoking is one of the worst ways to deal with stress. Smoking actually heightens stress levels by causing your heart rate and blood pressure to spike.
A top tip on quitting smoking is to find healthier ways to relieve stress, such as exercise or meditation. Not only will this help you reduce your dependence on smoking as a stress-reliever, it will also cut your overall stress levels.
Fewer Colds and Illnesses
Within around three to nine months of your last cigarette, you will have kissed goodbye to the hacking cough you couldn’t shake. Instead, you’ll start coughing in a way that helps clear out your system.
This is all thanks to the work the lungs have done to heal themselves over the months that they’ve had to recover from the damage inflicted by cigarette smoke. As a result, you’ll get fewer colds and chest infections. And you’ll have more energy for whatever adventure you want to pursue next!
The Positive Side Effects of Quitting Smoking
Beyond these short-term positive side effects of quitting smoking, over the years, your decision to give up will cut your risk of heart disease, stroke, a range cancers and many more health problems.
As a result, you’ll be able to look forward to many healthy years ahead of you to pack full of travel experiences.
Although, if you’re not careful you might end up swapping your nicotine addiction for an addiction to travel!