Don’t wait! Do it now!
This week’s Our Values posts have looked at some of the benefits of waiting, and why it is sometimes better to postpone a tough decision.
But that’s definitely a wrong strategy when it comes to your health. If you’re a smoker and want to quit—and are waiting until the end of the year to make that a New Year’s resolution—you’ll miss out on months of better health between now and then.
Many long-term smokers think that they’ve already done permanent damage to their hearts and lungs, and underestimate what they’ll get out of quitting right now.
But the Centers for Disease Control says the benefits kick in nearly immediately. “Within 20 minutes after you smoke that last cigarette, your body begins a series of changes that continue for years,” according to their studies.
As the poster explains, “Within 20 minutes—Your heart rate and blood pressure drop.” Click on the poster to read it in more detail.
Exercise has some of the same benefits, no matter how late you start. “It’s never too late to start exercising,” according to the National Institutes of Health. “Exercise has benefits at any age.”
So let’s stop kicking this can down the road, unless we’re kicking an actual can down an actual road.
Know other life changes that shouldn’t wait?
SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS THIS SUMMER: In recent years, Terry Gallagher has written about a wide range of topics; you can read more than 100 of his past columns by clicking on this link. We invite you to comment (below) or to share this column on Facebook (use the blue-“f” icons).
- Why wait? When did waiting become such a political sin?
- Why wait? How do we decide what to fix first?
- Why wait? Why did Abe Lincoln wait to free the slaves?
- Why wait? Know what happens as soon as you quit smoking?
- Why wait? Do you know how to play Kick The Can?