As most of us changed from teenagers into young adults we picked up several bad habits along the way. These bad habits include smoking cigarettes, pipes, or cigars; drinking beer, wine and other alcoholic beverages; and even chewing tobacco. All of these habits can lead to heart disease as well as a number of other serious medical problems and conditions.
Smoking not only can cause heart disease, but also lead to several types of cancers, including throat cancer and lung cancer. Even being around second-hand smoke can increase your risk of these illnesses. If you are a smoker, it can be one of the hardest habits to give up, especially if you have been doing it for an extended period of time. There are free support groups and many products available to assist you. Talk to your medical provider as they can offer suggestions about different products. The sooner you can quit, the better it is. The body will repair damage done by smoking even when we are in our early 40’s. Once you do quit, you will start to feel better and lower you risks for illnesses and heart disease. Other body senses will also become more heightened. Your sense of smell will increase and the food you eat will taste different from when you smoked.
Drinking beer, wine and alcohol is an acceptable social habit. Most of us may drink only on special occasions, like anniversaries. But other people drink daily and sometime consume excessive amounts. This leads to alcoholism, problems with the liver and kidneys, and increases risks of heart disease. While it has been speculated that consuming certain wines on a regular basis can actually help lower risks for certain diseases, it should be pointed out that once you have the disease you will not gain any preventive benefits by continuing to consume alcohol. Stopping completely is still the healthiest thing we can do.
Depending on how much alcohol you drink, you may find it difficult to stop. There are support programs available that can assist you. Some employers may even keep a list of programs available in your area.