New Year, New You

A long list of New Year’s resolutions is all good and well, but most of us have given them up by mid February. Sometimes making one clever change is best – like cutting down on smoking, which could bring endless results for 2013 and beyond. Here are some examples of how…

Health and fitness

Vowing to get fit and healthy has got to be one of the most common New Year’s resolutions. But forcing a radical no-treats-allowed diet and attempting to go from zero to hero with daily gym sessions can be too much pressure. No wonder lots of people give up after a few weeks. But you don’t have to go to such extreme measures to see results – trying to stop smoking is one of the best things you can do to improve your health. This single step will have countless benefits, which you can read more about here. Your lung function and blood pressure will begin to improve after just 24hours. After a fortnight, your circulation will have improved too. Within a couple of months, you’ll feel fitter and healthier – with not a blister or sweaty gym kit in sight! Having said that, once you notice how much easier and more enjoyable exercise now feels, you may find yourself wanting to work out more than usual too.

Looking good

Lighting up doesn’t have to mean reaching for the matches or cigarette lighter - how about having a dazzling smile, or glowing skin that lights up a room? When it comes to self-improvement, overhauling your skin, hair and beauty regimes is usually up there at the top of the priorities list. Collagen keeps skin supple and youthful but smoking saps the body’s vitamin C supply - which is crucial in the production of collagen – therefore speeding up the skin’s ageing process. However, when you stop smoking, within six weeks you’ll see noticeable improvements to your skin. Cutting down will also give you something to smile about: smoking less cigarettes means a lower risk of gum disease and stained and discoloured teeth.

Take up new hobbies

Lots of us pledge to be more productive with our time in the New Year, whether that be doing something sporty and active, crafty and arty, or even enrolling on an evening class or volunteering for a local charity. Reducing how much you smoke could mean you have more money at your disposal than usual – ideal for funding new activities. Plus, taking up a hobby is a fantastic way of keeping those cravings at bay, as you’ll have something new and exciting to focus on. You might be used to associating going for a night out with smoking, or feeling bored with nipping out for a cigarette, but plough that energy into a pottery class, creative writing group or indoor climbing and who knows what potential you might unlock during 2013?