Two birds, one stone: Quit smoking and take down type 2 diabetes!

Many great things are even greater in pairs: Live sports and your favourite chair, movies and popcorn, sunshine and skimpy swimwear, sex and your favourite chair, the list goes on.

Likewise, some unhealthy things get even unhealthier when you combine them. Smoking, for instance, is terrible for your health. If you smoke and you’re living with type 2 diabetes, you face even greater risks of lung cancer, heart attack and stroke, among other life-threatening conditions. Talk about going from bad to worse!

The good news: You can quit smoking, and manage or even prevent type 2 diabetes, with help from these 5 easy tips.

Breath deeply

On one hand, deep-breathing is a great way to reduce cigarette cravings. On the other, it can curb depression and anxiety, both of which are more common among people with type 2 diabetes. Give deep breathing a try by inhaling through your nose and holding it for a count of 5. Slowly breathe out through your mouth for a count of 7. Repeat until you feel cravings and stress begin to melt away, and then keep doing it for as long as you like.

Get crunching

Snacking is a great way to cope with cigarette cravings because it gives your something else to do with your mouth. Eating more vegetables, meanwhile, is a great way to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes (not to mention lose weight and feel healthier overall). Good thing carrot sticks, sliced bell peppers and other crisp veggies make such awesome snacks!

On that note, check out these delicious and healthy ideas for morning, afternoon and evening munchies.

Guzzle water

Sugar may not cause type 2 diabetes, but consuming less of the sweet stuff may prevent or delay the disease. That’s where water plays a key role by replacing sugary sodas and juices with a refreshing, no-cost, sugar-free alternative.

As well as flushing out the cigarette toxins in your body, drinking water can help reduce cravings by washing away the taste and feel of cigarettes in your mouth. That’s right: Drinking more water lets you replace two unhealthy habits with a single healthy one. Two birds, one stone!

Start exercising

Breaking into a brisk half-hour walk when you’d normally have a cigarette — after dinner, say, or at break time at work — helps curb cravings. It’ll also improve your fitness and help you lose weight, which in turn reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes. Your brighter mood is a bonus!

Do the money-saving math!

Quitting cigarettes saves you around $5,000 a year if you smoke a pack a day. Cutting out soda pop and junk food saves hundreds of dollars more. Put it all together, and you’ve got yet another awesome combo!

For more easy butting-out tips, look for our upcoming ebook on DontChangeMuch.ca.

About the Author

Adam Bisby

Adam Bisby

Adam Bisby is a Toronto-based freelance journalist and father of two. His award-winning stories have appeared in the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star and National Post newspapers, in magazines like Explore, Reader's Digest, International Traveller and Canadian Family, and on websites including MSN.com and DontChangeMuch.ca.

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