One of the largest risk factors we can control is the toxins we put in our body. Smoking is one of the leading causes of heart disease, below are ways smoking effects our bodies, and resources if you need help changing your habits!
Smoking damages the heart and surrounding tissue quickly, however quitting can repair the damage almost as fast. Within a year your risk of a heart attack is cut dramatically, within 5 years your risk of stroke is cut to almost that of a non-smoker.
Smoking is a major factor in cardiovascular disease (CVD) and causes approximately 1 in 4 deaths related to CVD. The risk of heart disease increases with each cigarette per day, and with prolonged smoking. Exposure to second hand smoke can also increase the risk of cardiovascular disease in non smokers and can cause heart attacks & strokes.
The chemicals ingested when smoking cause cells that line the blood vessels to become inflamed, this can narrow the blood vessels and cause multiple cardiovascular diseases such as:
Atherosclerosis – Arteries become narrow and less flexible, this occurs when fat and cholesterol enter the blood in the form of plaque and stick to the walls of the arteries. This no longer allows blood to flow easily to parts of the body affected, smoking increases the formation of plaque.
Coronary Heart Disease – Occurs when arteries carrying blood to the heart become narrowed by plaque or blocked by blood clots. Smoking can cause the blood to thicken and form clots leading to heart attacks.
Stroke – Occurs when the flow of blood in and to the brain is interrupted, often by a clot. Smoking increases your chances of having a stroke.
Peripheral Arterial/Vascular Disease - Occurs when blood vessels narrow and the flow of blood to arms, legs, hands, and feet is reduced. Cells and tissue are deprived of needed oxygen when blood flow is reduced. In extreme cases, an infected limb must be removed. Smoking is the most preventable cause of this disease.
Cardiovascular workouts have shown to assist with smoking cessation and creating a distraction when you are craving a cigarette! Step on the treadmill, saddle up on a bike or join a group fitness class.
Resources to help quit smoking
For more information or to get started with a workout program designed specifically for your needs, contact our professionals today at firstname.lastname@example.org