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5 Reasons Why Quitting Smoking Will Improve Your Look

5 Reasons Why Quitting Smoking Will Improve Your Look

There’s no doubt about it, quitting smoking is hard. I know this first hand. Before I quit, I was smoking a lot; even more on the evenings, I would enjoy a drink with friends. However, this all stopped when I decided it was about time I tried my hand at running a marathon.

Fortunately for me, the process of running a marathon was much more mentally trying than quitting smoking and so the process was a little lost on me. Nights out were replaced with early nights in with a book to read; foods that would be enjoyable with a cigarette were replaced with high protein diets and carbohydrate loading. For me, smoking was phased out in the most natural way possible. For my Mum, however, the struggle through the quitting process has been a little different and has taught me a thing or two about how to motivate yourself to quit. One of the best ways to do this is reminding ourselves about how it will affect our bodies.

Premature Aging

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giphy (30)

    I’m 25, so obviously my Mum is a bit older – I’ll spare her by leaving out her age – so let’s say that her worry about aging is bigger than mine. But that isn’t to say that it shouldn’t be a worry to everyone. Smoking narrows the blood vessels in the outermost layers of your skin, therefore impairing the blood flow there. Without blood flow, your skin doesn’t receive as much oxygen and other really great nutrients. This, paired with the thousands of nasty chemicals found in tobacco that damage elastin and collagen, means that there’s no doubt about it: smoking will give you wrinkles.

    This happens no matter what your age is and really – sorry Mum – this means that the later you decide to quit, the worse the wrinkles could be.

    Teeth

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    giphy (28)

      Whether you agree or not, your smile is one of the best, most candid things about you. Smiling is an important part of daily interaction and so taking good care of your teeth is something never to be taken lightly. Smoking can, of course, ruin this. Tobacco tar and nicotine are proven to yellow your teeth even a very short period of time, destroying a pearly white smile.

      One of the best ways to cut out nicotine considerably is by switching to e-cigarettes, you’ll find doing the switch will make cutting down easier while meaning the tar yellowing your teeth is lessened. My Mum has been trialling these and tells me that the V2 Pro Vaporizer is the best vaporizer around.

      Thin Hair

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      giphy (25)

        As if the first two reasons weren’t enough, smoking actually makes your hair thinner. Experts have found – in most cases of long-term smokers – that the chemicals and toxins in cigarettes damage the DNA in hair follicles. This means not only thinner and lank hair,  but also premature greying too. Bad hair isn’t just an issue for females either, as a male, you are more likely to experience boldness than men that don’t smoke. With horrid teeth and thinning hair, that action of smoking isn’t looking quite so cool now is it?

        Skin

        giphy (31)

          I’ve mentioned premature aging and since many young readers won’t worry about this too much, it’s probably a good time to mention the other effects smoking has on skin. If you’re a smoker, of any age, you may have noticed your skin get gradually worse. I definitely did. In fact, when I quit smoking I found my skin clearing was what gave me the biggest confidence boost. The number of blackheads decreased on my nose, I had fewer blemishes and believe it or not, the bags under my eyes disappeared.

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          Wound healing

          giphy (32)

            When we smoke, the molecule hemoglobin does not carry as much oxygen throughout the body than if it weren’t inhaling harmful chemicals. Tiny blood vessels in the body become a lot smaller, meaning it’s a lot more difficult for hemoglobin and oxygen to get to the tissues where they are needed. In layman’s terms; smokers don’t heal very well. If you’re considering any sort of cosmetic surgery to improve your look, you’ll often hear from your surgeon that you need to quit before the procedure takes place. There really is no upside to smoking.

            Photo/Gif Source: Premature AgingTeethHair, Skin, Wound Healing

            Featured photo credit: No Camels via nocamels.com

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            Jess Melia

            Jess is a passionate writer and journalist. She shares about motivational and learning tips on Lifehack.

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            Last Updated on March 25, 2020

            How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

            How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

            When it comes to living long, genes aren’t everything. Research has revealed a number of simple lifestyle changes you can make that could help to extend your life, and some of them may surprise you.

            So, how to live longer? Here are 21 ways to help you live a long life

            1. Exercise

            It’s no secret that physical activity is good for you. Exercise helps you maintain a healthy body weight and lowers your blood pressure, both of which contribute to heart health and a reduced risk of heart disease–the top worldwide cause of death.

            2. Drink in Moderation

            I know you’re probably picturing a glass of red wine right now, but recent research suggests that indulging in one to three glasses of any type of alcohol every day may help to increase longevity.[1] Studies have found that heavy drinkers as well as abstainers seem to have a higher risk of early mortality than moderate drinkers.

            3. Reduce Stress in Your Life

            Stress causes your body to release a hormone called cortisol. At high levels, this hormone can increase blood pressure and cause storage of abdominal fat, both of which can lead to an increased risk of heart disease.

            4. Watch Less Television

            A 2008 study found that people who watch six hours of television per day will likely die an average of 4.8 years earlier than those who don’t.[2] It also found that, after the age of 25, every hour of television watched decreases life expectancy by 22 minutes.

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            Television promotes inactivity and disengagement from the world, both of which can shorten your lifespan.

            5. Eat Less Red Meat

            Red meat consumption is linked to an increased risk of heart disease and cancer.[3] Swapping out your steaks for healthy proteins, like fish, may help to increase longevity.

            If you can’t stand the idea of a steak-free life, reducing your consumption to less than two to three servings a week can still incur health benefits.

            6. Don’t Smoke

            This isn’t exactly a revelation. As you probably well know, smoking significantly increases your risk of cancer.

            7. Socialize

            Studies suggest that having social relationships promotes longevity.[4] Although scientists are unsure of the reasons behind this, they speculate that socializing leads to increased self esteem as well as peer pressure to maintain health.

            8. Eat Foods Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids

            Omega-3 fatty acids decrease the risk of heart disease[5] and perhaps even Alzheimer’s disease.[6] Salmon and walnuts are two of the best sources of Omega-3s.

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            9. Be Optimistic

            Studies suggest that optimists are at a lower risk for heart disease and, generally, live longer than pessimists.[7] Researchers speculate that optimists have a healthier approach to life in general–exercising more, socializing, and actively seeking out medical advice. Thus, their risk of early mortality is lower.

            10. Own a Pet

            Having a furry-friend leads to decreased stress, increased immunity, and a lessened risk of heart disease.[8] Depending on the type of pet, they can also motivate you to be more active.

            11. Drink Coffee

            Studies have found a link between coffee consumption and longer life.[9] Although the reasons for this aren’t entirely clear, coffee’s high levels of antioxidants may play a role. Remember, though, drowning your cup of joe in sugar and whipped cream could counter whatever health benefits it may hold.

            12. Eat Less

            Japan has the longest average lifespan in the world, and the longest lived of the Japanese–the natives of the Ryukyu Islands–stop eating when they’re 80% full. Limiting your calorie intake means lower overall stress on the body.

            13. Meditate

            Meditation leads to stress reduction and lowered blood pressure.[10] Research suggests that it could also increase the activity of an enzyme associated with longevity.[11]

            Taking as little as 15 minutes a day to find your zen can have significant health benefits, and may even extend your life.

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            How to meditate? Here’re 8 Meditation Techniques for Complete Beginners

            14. Maintain a Healthy Weight

            Being overweight puts stress on your cardiovascular system, increasing your risk of heart disease.[12] It may also increase the risk of cancer.[13] Maintaining a healthy weight is important for heart health and living a long and healthy life.

            15. Laugh Often

            Laughter reduces the levels of stress hormones, like cortisol, in your body. High levels of these hormones can weaken your immune system.

            16. Don’t Spend Too Much Time in the Sun

            Too much time in the sun can lead to an increased risk of skin cancer. However, sun exposure is an excellent way to increase levels of vitamin D, so soaking up a few rays–perhaps for around 15 minutes a day–can be healthy. The key is moderation.

            17. Cook Your Own Food

            When you eat at restaurants, you surrender control over your diet. Even salads tend to have a large number of additives, from sugar to saturated fats. Eating at home will enable you to monitor your food intake and ensure a healthy diet.

            Take a look at these 14 Healthy Easy Recipes for People on the Go and start to cook your own food.

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            18. Eat Mushrooms

            Mushrooms are a central ingredient in Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s GOMBS disease fighting diet. They boost the immune system and may even reduce the risk of cancer.[14]

            19. Floss

            Flossing helps to stave off gum disease, which is linked to an increased risk of cancer.[15]

            20. Eat Foods Rich in Antioxidants

            Antioxidants fight against the harmful effects of free-radicals, toxins which can cause cell damage and an increased risk of disease when they accumulate in the body. Berries, green tea and broccoli are three excellent sources of antioxidants.

            Find out more antiosidants-rich foods here: 13 Delicious Antioxidant Foods That Are Great for Your Health

            21. Have Sex

            Getting down and dirty two to three times a week can have significant health benefits. Sex burns calories, decreases stress, improves sleep, and may even protect against heart disease.[16] It’s an easy and effective way to get exercise–so love long and prosper!

            More Health Tips

            Featured photo credit: Sweethearts/Patrick via flickr.com

            Reference

            [1] Wiley Online Library: Late‐Life Alcohol Consumption and 20‐Year Mortality
            [2] BMJ Journals: Television viewing time and reduced life expectancy: a life table analysis
            [3] Arch Intern Med.: Red Meat Consumption and Mortality
            [4] PLOS Medicine: Social Relationships and Mortality Risk: A Meta-analytic Review
            [5] JAMA: Fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acid Intake and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease in Women
            [6] NCBI: Effects of Omega‐3 Fatty Acids on Cognitive Function with Aging, Dementia, and Neurological Diseases: Summary
            [7] Mayo Clinic Proc: Prediction of all-cause mortality by the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory Optimism-Pessimism Scale scores: study of a college sample during a 40-year follow-up period.
            [8] Med Hypotheses.: Pet ownership protects against the risks and consequences of coronary heart disease.
            [9] The New England Journal of Medicine: Association of Coffee Drinking with Total and Cause-Specific Mortality
            [10] American Journal of Hypertension: Blood Pressure Response to Transcendental Meditation: A Meta-analysis
            [11] Science Direct: Intensive meditation training, immune cell telomerase activity, and psychological mediators
            [12] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
            [13] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
            [14] African Journal of Biotechnology: Anti-cancer effect of polysaccharides isolated from higher basidiomycetes mushrooms
            [15] Science Direct: Periodontal disease, tooth loss, and cancer risk in male health professionals: a prospective cohort study
            [16] AHA Journals: Sexual Activity and Cardiovascular Disease

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