Among the first positive changes you notice after quitting smoking is improvement in your ability to breathe. The improvement in your lung function after ceasing to smoke is felt most when your lungs are affected by a flu or cold. It’s possible to feel the effects of improved lung function as early as a few days after quitting smoking. Within weeks of quitting you will usually no longer have a cough related to smoking and will notice improved lung capacity during exercise.
Improved Illness Resistance
The greater benefits of quitting smoking will become evident in how your next cold or flu affects you. Essentially, it will affect you much less than while you were smoking. Smokers that suffer from asthma will notice that their lungs become much less strained after quitting.
Increased lung function after you quit smoking will also be more noticeable when you experience allergies. For example, during wet seasons there is an increase of mold in the air, and smokers are more likely to have allergies at this time due to their weakened lungs. Quitting smoking often improves your immune system and thus allows you to more easily deal with mold and other allergens.
Your vitamin C and zinc stores are depleted when you smoke, which results in a compromised immune system. Your body is constantly stressed as it tries to fight off the foreign substance of smoke in the lungs, which causes smokers to be susceptible to lung infections and allergies. It takes longer to recover from such infections when your immune system is also dealing with the smoke. So when you cease smoking, your lungs become healthier as they no longer have to spend energy on fighting smoke.
Improved Immune Functions
Improved lung function allows much lower risk of being affected by allergens, bacteria, colds, and flu. This is just one of the health benefits you get when you stop smoking. However, it is one that should not be underestimated as it is a benefit you begin to feel soon after you stop smoking.
Staying Off the Wagon
A good way to continue with your lifestyle change after quitting smoking is to focus on the more immediate lung function improvements that have benefited your health. This can be as simple as taking the time to notice how your ability to breathe deeply has improved. Appreciating the immediate benefits of quitting can help you stay focused as your lung capacity continues to improve. For the best results, it is important to note how it felt to attempt deep breathing when you were still smoking. Try to remember if it made you cough, or how constricted your lungs felt. Compare your post-smoking ability to breath deeper with that memory from while you were smoking, and focus on how much deeper you can breathe.
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