Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Daddy Says: How Becoming A Dad Inspired Me To Improve My Health

Today marks almost 4 years ago to the day that I found out I was going to be a Dad for the first time. 

Just like most other men when they find out the news, in the blink of an eye my life changed entirely. 
Along with all of the excitement of impending fatherhood came some concerns too - I wasn't exactly a young Dad-To-Be, infact by the time my son was born I would already be 40 years old.

Not Guiness world-record breaking old or anything, but perhaps slightly older than average?

This left me with some worries.

I didn't want to be a Dad that couldn't keep up with a young son whilst playing. A Dad that ran out of breath or collapsed in a pool of sweat after a bike ride or kicking a ball around for a few minutes in the park. Most of all, I wanted to stay alive and healthy to see my son grow up.

I decided to really pay some attention to my health, and whilst overall it really didn't seem that that much needed to change (I drank very little if any alcohol and my diet wasn't that bad.) there were some adjustments to consider.

 Exercise was definitely something I needed more of and so I started running, just once a week and no great distances but just a simple evening run after work - I soon felt the benefits of it, and noticed my jeans fitting a little better too - result!

But the biggest change and challenge of all was that I needed to stop smoking.

I'd been a smoker since I was 18.

For 21 years I had smoked around 20 cigarettes a day, and whilst I had tried to quit a few times in the past,  nothing really ever worked and I always ended up back 'on the ciggies'.

Patches, inhalators, gum - I'd tried them all and almost ended up resigning myself to being a smoker for life, as in all honesty I enjoyed it.

But whilst I was far from being a heavy smoker, I had seen the difference it had made to my health during those 21 years. I became breathless more easily, cold seem to affect my breathing more, and to be fair I always hated the smell of smoke on my clothes and in my hair.

And the thought of having my children look to me as a role model was enough to finally make me want to make the change - did I really want to show them that smoking was ok?

It was not long after this epiphany, whilst on a trip to London, that I was first introduced to the concept of the E-Cigarette.

I'd heard about them but they were quite a new product on the scene at that time, and I'd never seen one used before.

Walking past a Pop up store near Covent Garden, one of the shops reps pulled me to one side and asked if I'd like to try an E-Cigarette. To be honest I was very sceptical. How could this small electronic device help me quit or provide an alternative to smoking?

Well, what did I have to lose? So I tried it - fully expecting to laugh in the sellers face as I walked away but lo and behold....I was very surprised. It really did feel like taking a drag on a cigarette. I really did get the nicotine hit and throat burn just as the rep had said I would. I was actually a little dumbfounded-Why hadn't anyone told me about this before?

I left the shop determined to find out more and to give 'Vaping'  a go.

Like most new things in life, it takes a little time to find whats right for you and it's worth doing your research into the different brands and options before making any changes - this helpful article about making the switch to e-cigarettes is a great starting point.

I'm pleased to say that vaping completely curbed my desire to smoke real cigarettes, once I bought my own kit I never bought another pack of cigarettes again....and even better,  I was able to gradually reduce the nicotine I used with my e-cigarettes and today I am nicotine free.

To be honest, I can't imagine having an actual cigarette ever again.The thought of it really does make me feel a little queasy.

*In association with Vapemate

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