We’re always being told to eat healthily, exercise more, stop smoking and cut down on alcohol. After an 18 month long pandemic, it’s something a lot of us have taken on board – or at least tried to.
Sometimes, it’s easier said than done and we need a little boost to make it happen. We all know that being as healthy as possible should be high on our priority list.
We know losing a few pounds and lowering our BMI would help us feel better within ourselves and that we should be exercising regularly. If you’re a smoker there are hundreds of reasons to quit for both your health and bank balance. If you drink regularly, you know that it’s probably best to try and cut down.
Looking after our health should be high on our priority list. So why not use October to do just that?
With Sober October and Stoptober taking place this month, we’re taking a look at what they are, why they’re done for such fantastic causes and what health benefits you can enjoy from taking part.
What is Sober October?Sober October encourages people to go booze-free in October to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support. Macmillan, along with charities up and down the country, need our help more than ever before after the impact of Covid-19.
The devastating financial impact of coronavirus has left nearly 40% of charities and community groups in a worse financial situation. With fundraising events being cancelled over the last 18 months, it’s easy to see why. The pandemic has had a huge impact, with thousands of people having their cancer treatments delayed.
Macmillan Cancer Support are asking people to get involved in Sober October by going alcohol-free in October to raise money for people with cancer.
You can choose to have a Sober October by taking on the challenge for 14 or 21 days, or challenge yourself to take on the full 31 days. With options of how long to take the challenge for, it is easier to get involved than ever before.
No matter what you choose to give up, or how long you choose to go sober for, you will be raising vital funds to help Macmillan continue being there for the millions of people living with cancer in the UK right now.
Having a break from alcohol also has great benefits:
- More energy
- Better sleeping pattern
- Weight loss
- Sense of achievement
- More time on your hands
- A happier bank balance
- A healthier you
You can find out more about going Sober for October here.
Quit Smoking this StoptoberStoptober is a 28-day stop smoking challenge initiated by Public Health England to encourage smokers to ditch the habit. It’s inspired by figures that show those who stop smoking for 28 days or more are 5x more likely to quit for good.
The campaign aims to help smokers by raising awareness of the benefits of quitting and the tools that are available to help them go smoke free. Whether you are looking to quit smoking yourself or to support someone you love, there are lots of helpful resources to look at throughout the month. Stoptober is the perfect time to start.
Most smokers know that it’s the nicotine in cigarettes that gets you addicted to smoking. However, it’s also often breaking the habit that is the hardest part about quitting smoking. If you look forward to breaks in your day where you usually enjoy a cigarette or are in a social circle that smokes, it makes it even harder to quit.
The Best Way to Quit Smoking for StoptoberThis depends entirely on the individual. Some people may find that powering through and going cold turkey without any nicotine replacements is the best way for them to stop.
Others might find that they just need to stave off the nicotine cravings by replacing cigarettes with a vape at first, or a nicotine patch.
Think about your habits and look at the various options available to weigh up which tools you think will work for you. You can always try different things out to see what works best.
Quitting is always going to take willpower, so make sure everyone around you supports your decision – even try and get your family and friends involved too!
Tips for Quitting Smoking
1) Get rid of everythingOne of the first things you can do is to remove all smoking paraphernalia from your home, car, bags and workplace. Even looking at a lighter can tempt you to buy more cigarettes, so getting rid of everything can help.
Letting your friends and family know that you’re trying to quit can be a great idea. Their support could make the difference between you caving or making the 28 days smoke-free.
2) Find your local stop smoking serviceThe NHS provides a free stop smoking service which offers one-to-one or group support to help you quit. Contact your GP for any support you think you might need.
3) Keep a diaryTaking notes of your health and how you are feeling can help you realise how far you’ve come and give you the motivation to continue. Quitting can have a positive effect on your health even after just a few days.
4) Save the money you’d usually spendSet aside the money you would have spent on cigarettes in a savings account or piggy bank. You’ll soon see your savings grow and it’s a great motivator to continue. You can then put that money towards something you wouldn’t necessarily be able to afford such as extra gifts at Christmas or a holiday to look forward to next summer.
5) Replace cigarette time with something elseTake 5 minutes out to make a phone call to a friend or make yourself something nice for lunch. Lots of people also use things like lollipops or chewing gum to satisfy the craving.
Overall, don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Many smokers worry about putting on weight when they quit smoking which will not necessarily be the case.
You can use the NHS Quit Smoking app this Stoptober to help you quit smoking, allowing you to track your progress, see how much you would have spent and get daily support. You can find out more about it here.
The impacts on your life insuranceQuitting smoking can have a positive impact on your life insurance premiums and reduce the amount you pay. It’s not impossible to get life insurance if you are a smoker, but you will find that you pay more than non-smokers.
Your smoker status will have an influence on an insurer’s decision to offer you cover as it puts you at a higher risk of developing a medical condition along the line if you smoke.
A non-smoker could pay as little as half of what a smoker applying for the same cover would pay, so it is well worth using Stoptober as the starting point for you giving up for good. To get lower premiums, you need to be smoke-free for at least 12 months to class as a ‘non-smoker’, so once Stoptober ends, keep it up!
If you are looking for life insurance and want more information, The Insurance Surgery can help. Our expert team can look at your lifestyle and personal circumstances to find you the best cover. We are the UK’s No.1 Specialist Life Insurance Broker for those with medical conditions or dangerous occupations, and can guide you through the process. As a broker, we do all the hard work for you and can shop around to find you the best policy.
To start the application process, fill in our online quote form or call us on 0800 083 2829.
Top tips to get through OctoberWhether you’re giving Sober for October or Stoptober a go this month, it can be difficult. We’ve put together some tips to help you achieve your goals and make it through the month with ease.
- Believe in yourself
- Get your friends on board
- Change your environment
- Have a plan for alternatives
- Break up the month into smaller chunks
- Remember why you’re doing it
If you’re going Sober for October or giving Stoptober a go this year, good luck from everyone at The Insurance Surgery!