Making the decision to quit smoking is a healthy one, but putting a stop to an addiction is usually accompanied by high stress levels and anxiety. Once the very thing you’ve been dependent on for so long is no longer an option, there’s an incredible urge to fill your lungs with smoke to take the edge off. What should you do to commit to your desire to quit? Oh, for those that don’t know, smoking is bad, very bad.
What To Do When You Quit Smoking
If you have decided to quit smoking, your lungs will be as sensitive as a baby’s lungs for the first couple of weeks. During this time, you will need to take good care of them and allow them to cleanse properly to stay clean and healthy.
We offer several things you need to consider doing when you quit smoking to promote a quick and full recovery for your lungs. Your body will thank you for choosing to better your health with this decision.
How To Restore The Lungs After Saying Goodbye To Cigarettes
Here are a few tips and tricks for those willing to take their lungs to the next level after kicking the nasty butts for good.
When you stop smoking, the lungs will start to slowly regenerate and purify themselves from all of the accumulated toxins. To help them through this process, you will need to stay in areas with clean air.
Ideally, you should stay in well-ventilated areas where the clean air freely circulates and there are no sources of smoke (a completely smoke-free zone).
Use an air purifier with a quality filter that will filter out all the pollutants, pollen, and other harmful particles. We suggest using a HEPA filter instead of an Ozone filter, as it cleanses the air and does not cause irritations to the lungs.
Open windows to air out the recycled air from the rooms you normally stay in. In the summer, sleep with open windows to allow fresh air to circulate. In the cooler seasons, keep the bedroom door open. This will allow the air to flow throughout and prevent the accumulation of recirculated air.
To minimize the risk of irritation to your lungs, you need to keep all the surfaces clean and sanitized. The carpets are a persistent source of dirt and dust, so be sure to vacuum regularly. Be thorough. Don’t forget to vacuum under the beds and above the cupboards.
Dust regularly. The small dust particles that you can’t see can be very irritating to recovering lungs.
Consider replacing your wood stove with an electric stove. Burning wood releases toxins and smoke. Also, avoid using a fireplace for a while to let your lungs breathe.
Plants and Flowers
It is smart to have some kind of plant in the rooms where you spend most of your time because plants produce oxygen when exposed to sunlight and CO2. However, at night they use up oxygen and produce CO2. For this reason, we don’t suggest keeping plants in your bedroom.
Don’t keep flowering plants nearby. They release pollen and spores that can get in your lungs and be a cause of irritation.
Examples of safe-to-own household plants that don’t pollute the air are aloe vera, English ivy, palm trees, peace lilies, spider plants, air plants, snake plants, and the like.
When you are cleaning your home, you are exposing your sensitive lungs to the harmful chemicals that are in all store-bought cleaning supplies. Be careful not to use products with ammonia or high doses of peroxides, as these two ingredients are very irritating to lungs.
Don’t believe the advertisements and labeling for natural ingredients. This means that only part of the ingredients are natural and the rest are synthetic and potentially harmful. Instead, use simple things you can find in your kitchen, such as baking soda, vinegar, and plain old water to clean your home naturally. Always ventilate your home well after cleaning.
Lung irritation may be caused by some foods like processed lunch meats, some dairy products, and fried fast food. Be sure to avoid these foods, as they tend to raise the acidic status of your body. Keep in mind that clean eating is beneficial to your health.
Try eating alkaline foods that will help the lungs, kidneys, liver, and blood. Foods like vegetables (especially root and leafy green vegetables), apples, lemons, oranges, bananas, berries, walnuts, almonds (rich in fat and protein), and spices like ginger and cinnamon are all foods we suggest to eat, especially during this delicate time when your lungs are restoring themselves.
To increase the level of antioxidants that fight the free radicals from destroying the body, you need to eat foods rich in antioxidants like blueberries, grapes, and blackberries, green vegetables like spinach, broccoli, and artichokes. Also, eat fish and drink green tea.
If you are into extremes, then you can start taking chlorophyll, which will help with cleansing your blood and increasing the oxygen levels in the body. Chlorophyll-rich foods are wheatgrass, spirulina, green micro-algae, and sprouts. You can mix these foods in smoothies.
The proper physical activity enables the body to take more oxygen, feeling refreshed and energized. Regular exercise stimulates the release of endorphins that make the body feel good, make you feel happy and helps with relieving pain.
For beginners, you can start with 150 minutes of mild to moderate activity per week. Some examples are walks, swimming, or doing activities in your home/yard. This equals to 5, 30-minute exercises a week.
For those wanting to improve their physical shape, do more strenuous exercises at least 75 minutes a week. Translated in times a week, that would be 3, 25-minute exercises a week. This can include running, soccer, riding a bike or even dancing.
When the weather allows it, you should do your exercises outside. Go to a park for a walk, play a football game with your friends, or go on a short hike.
Consider Doing Yoga
Yoga is an excellent way to learn how to breathe. Well, you obviously know how to breathe, but yoga teaches breathing from the diaphragm, helping the expansion of the capacity of the lungs. It helps the strengthening of the muscles that enables easier breathing.
When doing yoga, the body goes through a transformation and it learns how to stand correctly, making breathing easier.
There are many types of yoga exercises such as Yin Yoga, Ashtanga, Bikram Yoga, and Restorative Yoga to name a few. If you have quit smoking recently, stay away from the Bikram and Ashtanga because these exercises cause a lot of strain on the body. Instead, focus on Yin or Restorative Yoga. These exercises are low-impact and thorough, the breathing is slow and the stretches are methodical.
Detox Your Body
There are many ways you can detox your body and speed up the process of the removal of toxins accumulated during the time you’ve smoked. To start a simple detox routine, take a spoonful of raw honey every morning and follow it with a glass of water. This is one of the oldest remedies for detox and it has antiseptic and antibacterial properties, helping with coughing (which is a regular occurrence after you quit smoking).
Inhalations and Vapor Rubs
To help the lungs cleanse from the toxic sediments and mucus, you can add eucalyptus or menthol oil to a steam inhaler. It helps to decongest the airways and facilitate breathing. The vapor rub contains high menthol content and rubbing it on your chest helps the muscles relax and enable easier breathing. If you don’t like the feel of the cream, chew some peppermint leaves. The essential oils will help decongest your airways.
Homemade and Folk Remedies
To increase the immune response, you can add cayenne peppers to your food. These help soothe a sore throat that can be caused by extensive coughing. Oregano oil is another powerful antibacterial remedy that stops bacteria from taking root in your lungs.
Get a Massage (Regularly)
Massages are not just a luxury for the rich, but a necessity for everyone. A regular massage can greatly help the blood and lymph circulation, increasing the work of the immune system. It also helps the breathing by relaxing the chest muscles and bringing them in their proper place.
After you quit smoking, it is very normal, and expected, to feel stressed. You should do everything in your power to relax your body and mind. Try meditation as it has shown effectiveness in releasing stress and promoting calmness. If you start practicing yoga, meditation is a part of it and also helps with calming, which increases kindness towards others.
Stay True to Your Goals
No matter why you have quit smoking, there are many benefits that will improve the quality of your life. No more standing outside of a restaurant for a quick smoke. No more awful smells of burnt tobacco or dealing with the stress of running out of cigarettes when there isn’t a store nearby to get more. Your health will improve overall. Your skin will be healthy and produce its natural glow, and even better, you will save the money fed your addiction.
I wanted to share an infographic with you that shows the benefits of stopping smoking. It was created by the University of Kentucky.
Smoking is a nasty habit and one you can definitely go without. When you make the decision to quit smoking, you should expect that in the first several weeks, you will have strong cravings, become more irritable, and develop a need for an oral fixation.
To help with the oral fixation, find yourself a toy that will keep your hands occupied. It can be a bracelet, a strand of rosary beads or any other toy that you think will help.
Take pride in your decision to become a non-smoker and seek a supportive environment that will help you stay true to your accomplishment of staying smoke-free.