10 wellness, health tips for people trying to quit smoking and working on having strong lungs | Health - Hindustan Times
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10 wellness, health tips for people trying to quit smoking and working on having strong lungs

ByZarafshan Shiraz, New Delhi
Jun 04, 2024 10:28 AM IST

Transitioning away from smoking can be challenging but here are 10 practical steps you can take to support your journey to lung health and overall wellness.

Quitting smoking is a transformative journey that not only improves overall health but also strengthens your lungs, paving the way for a healthier future. The process of healing begins immediately upon quitting, with notable improvements observed in a relatively short period.

10 wellness, health tips for people trying to quit smoking and working on having strong lungs (Representative image)
10 wellness, health tips for people trying to quit smoking and working on having strong lungs (Representative image)

In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Kuldeep Kumar Grover, Head of Critical Care and Pulmonology at CK Birla Hospital in Gurgaon, shared, “Within 12 hours of your last cigarette, carbon monoxide levels in the blood normalise, enhancing oxygen-blood flow and initiating the restoration process. Remarkably, within just one year, the risk of experiencing a heart attack significantly declines.”

He revealed, “As time progresses, the benefits continue to compound: within two to five years, the risk of stroke can decrease to that of a non-smoker. Perhaps the most compelling milestone lies at the 10-year mark, where the risk of dying from lung cancer is halved. These remarkable health improvements serve as powerful incentives to break free from the grip of smoking addiction. Transitioning away from smoking can be challenging but there are practical steps you can take to support your journey to lung health and overall wellness.”

Dr Kuldeep Kumar Grover suggested -

1. Gradually reduce cigarette consumption: Reducing daily cigarette consumption gradually can help reduce withdrawal symptoms and facilitate the transition to a smoke-free lifestyle.

2. Avoid smoking triggers: Avoid situations or locations that can urge you to smoke, and engage in new activities to pass the time and divert your attention from cravings.

3. Consider nicotine replacement therapy: Speak with a pulmonologist about the best ways to handle nicotine withdrawal and improve your chances of successfully stopping, such as using patches or gum.

4. Prioritise stress management: To manage stress without smoking, engage in stress-relieving activities like exercise, meditation, or hobbies.

5. Incorporate chest rehabilitation exercises: During the quitting process, incorporate workouts such as yoga, pulmonary rehabilitation, or deep breathing techniques to boost lung function and enhance overall respiratory health.

Bringing his expertise to the same, Saurabh Bothra, CEO and Certified Yoga Instructor at Habuild, said, “Your body's goal is to keep you healthy, working tirelessly to ensure everything functions smoothly but its efforts depend on your actions. The moment a smoker puts out their last cigarette, the body gets to work, healing itself and flushing out toxins.”

Here are 5 tips that can help people trying to quit smoking and strengthen their lungs -

  1. Stay HYDRATED: Drink plenty of water and warm fluids like herbal teas to flush out toxins, keep your throat and lungs hydrated and help get rid of built up mucus.
  2. Regular EXERCISE: Exercise helps strengthen your respiratory muscles, enhances lung capacity, and aids in detoxification. Aim for activities that get your heart pumping, such as brisk walking, cycling, or swimming, to boost circulation and oxygen flow throughout your body.
  3. Consume ANTI-INFLAMMATORY foods: Including anti-inflammatory foods like turmeric, leafy greens, cherries, blueberries, olives, walnuts, seeds, beans, and lentils in your meals can help reduce inflammation and support lung health.
  4. Practise STEAM INHALATION: Adding a few drops of essential oils like eucalyptus or peppermint to hot water and inhaling the steam can help clear congestion, soothe irritated airways, and promote easier breathing.
  5. Practise PRANAYAMA : Practices like deep breathing, alternate nostril breathing (Nadi Shodhana), and Kapalabhati can help expand lung capacity, improve oxygenation, and promote relaxation - while reducing stress and managing cravings.

Remember to be patient with yourself, celebrate your progress and believe in the power of consistency while implementing these tips.

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