Looking good! This is what your body does just 2 days into quitting smoking 4 years ago

Looking good! This is what your body does just 2 days into quitting smoking

Brought to you by HSE Quit.

Ok, so this will prove just how amazing our bodies really are and why it's entirely worthwhile to quit smoking right now.

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Despite the fact so many of us spend time beautifying ourselves on the regular, at the end of the day, it means very little if our body is suffering on the inside. If it's your skin you're thinking of for now, smoking reduces the oxygen supply to our cells, breaking down collagen and elasticity, and therefore causing wrinkles. So those super expensive moisturisers, serums and high tech facials can't do what they're supposed to.

If you’ve ever wanted to quit smoking, but then thought that it’s probably not really worth it, think again. One in two smokers will die of a tobacco related illness, and smoking generally takes 10 to 15 years off your life. Our body is our armour, it’s there to protect us, and it's our job to make sure it can.

It's absolutely mind blowing how efficient and intelligent our bodies are - the moment we quit smoking, they get to work ASAP and begin the healing process. Here’s what happens within 48 hours, when we’ve finally quit for good.

1. Twenty Minutes In and Already – a Major Milestone!

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Within 20 minutes, our heart rate has lowered and our smoking-induced high blood pressure has gone down too. This means our risk of heart attack and blood clots is beginning to drop! You might even notice your hands and feet starting to warm up.

2. Breathing and Exercise Becomes Easier 

Smoking causes carbon monoxide to build up in our blood stream. This gas is fatal in high doses so why would we be ok with a harmful amount in our body that stops the necessary amount of oxygen from entering our lungs and blood?  Eight hours after we quit smoking, this carbon monoxide level in our body drops. At last, there’s more room for all that marvellous oxygen to roam around, leaving our muscles feeling better and our thinking much clearer too.

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3. Heart Happy

Day one and our carbon monoxide level will be back to normal. Now our heart won’t need to stress and work overtime as it tries to get the oxygen to the places it needs to be. Our heart will LOVE us!

4. We Remember How Glorious Food Really Is

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The chemicals in cigarettes damage our body’s nerve endings. If however we quit smoking, just two days later these nerve endings begin to heal, resulting in our senses becoming heightened and returning to normal. Our sense of taste and smell become sharper and more intense. At last, we can enjoy that Friday night meal out, or meal with our friends even more. (Hurray!)

5. Keep Pushing!

At this point though, anyone who finally quits smoking will notice they’re more irritable as their body is working hard to get rid of all that bad stuff. This is why we’ll start coughing up mucus a lot more, but it’s just our body getting rid of the nasty stuff.

We’ll feel uneasy and will probably have plenty of cravings too but feeling this way is entirely normal and we can absolutely power through. Do whatever helps – hold a glass of water in the hand you’d usually have a cigarette in or try going for walks regularly to clear the mind.

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The best way for managing cravings though, is to use NRT (Nicotine Replacement Therapy) as it's shown to be the most effective. Talk to your local pharmacist or GP for advice. Using a patch and nicotine gum/inhalator together has been shown to be the most effective. You should also try chewing regular gum and using mouth spray to freshen up. You can check out Quit.ie for superb advice and even sign up to their Quit Plan where you'll receive helpful daily messages with the tips and tricks you need to finally get healthy and quit smoking.

And of course, don't forget to celebrate each and every milestone the entire way.

Brought to you by HSE Quit.

Sign up to the Quit programme today, entirely for free! Freephone QUIT at 1800 201 203 or freetext QUIT to 50100.