Be kind to your heart
One way of learning more about how healthy you are is by measuring your own pulse. The number of beats per minute is your heart rate and, very generally speaking, the lower the better. It’s best to take your pulse when you’ve been sitting down for ten minutes: that will give you your resting heart rate. I do this sometimes with my stop smoking hypnosis Holborn clients.
So what’s a good result? Well, it’s different for everyone but a healthy heart should usually beat more than 60 times and fewer than 100 times per minute. Athletes often have resting heart rates of around 60 beats per minute.
Now that you’ve established a baseline, if you’re a smoker or vaper you could try an experiment. Have a cigarette or vape, and then find your resting heart rate again. Yep, it’s higher now. In fact, many smokers will find that their heart rate has jumped by as much as 30 per cent after a cigarette. So if your resting heart rate was 80 beats per minute, your smoking heart rate is over 100 beats per minute.
Why? Because each heart beat pushes blood around your body, carrying vital nutrients and oxygen to the organs which need them most. When you break into a run from a walk your heart rate increases to keep your body supplied. When you’re lolling on the sofa and relaxing, your heart returns to its default beats per minute. Smoke a cigarette right now and you’ve inhaled, well, smoke. Smoke filled with carbon monoxide, actually. Your heart has received significantly less oxygen and so has to beat harder to send a lot more oxygen-carrying blood to your vital organs. Even though you’re just lolling on the sofa. By the way, it happens that nicotine triggers the release of a stress hormone, which also increases heart rate, which is what you’ll be experiencing if you just vaped.
The good news is that although a smoker’s dramatic rise in heart rate settles down within about twenty minutes of finishing a cigarette. The bad news is that the rate it settles down to usually a rather high default: certainly, the resting heart rate of smokers is generally higher than the heart rate of non-smokers. Smoking has created a new, unnatural baseline.
Why does this matter? I could tell you about the long-term effect on heart health of all those cigarettes, but let’s just look at your heart rate for now. The heart is an incredible machine, cleverer than anything man could ever hope to devise. It beats blood out with the force of a violent storm but it can only do that so many billion times – it can’t go on forever. A high heart rate means you’re using up too many beats just lolling on the sofa. You’re overworking your heart. That can lead to many complications which will dramatically impact on your life – and of course, shorten it.
There’s no good reason to be so unkind to your faithful, hardworking heart. If you’d like to stop smoking or vaping and give your heart a break then doing a stop smoking or vaping process with a hypnotherapist could get you the results you want. To get started with this, book a free discovery call with me so I can learn about you and work out whether we would be a good fit to work together. I see stop smoking hypnosis clients in Holborn, Central London, Camden North London or online over zoom.
You can also read more about some of the other, sneaky ways nicotine affects your body and tricks you in to misinterpreting its needs, for example: after you drink alcohol, or how it tricks you in to thinking it helps relieve anxiety.