If you’re a smoker, you probably noticed that your workouts are shorter, less intense, and aren’t yielding the type of results you want. The harder you push, the less you can catch your breath, and without oxygen, you’re not getting anything done. Smoking cigarettes can affect everything from your energy levels to your blood flow, making workouts more difficult and burnout more likely.
So, how exactly does smoking affect your workouts? Let’s look deeper into the physiological effects of smoking on a daily basis and why quitting is the best way to get the best workout of your life.
Decreased Lung Function/Oxygenated Blood
Smoking affects blood flow and oxygenation in a number of ways. For starters, it restricts blood vessels, which makes it more difficult for blood to flow to vital organs. Secondly, it fills your bloodstream with carbon monoxide, which binds with the blood’s hemoglobin to make it more “sticky”, thus increasing the risk of clots. Restricted vessels and sticky blood make for a potent cocktail of danger while you’re working out.
Since your organs and muscles are deprived of oxygen already, when you try to work out, they’re really working hard just to stay in the game. When you exercise, the demand for oxygenated blood increases tenfold as more structures require oxygen to function properly. If you can’t oxygenate your blood properly, you’re never going to get a good workout in.
You’ll notice your workouts are finished quicker if you’re a smoker. This is because working out with poor blood flow/oxygenation creates fatigue and causes burnout much quicker. Your muscles, organs, and tissues aren’t getting enough oxygen, and thus have to stop over-working in order to recover.
Your recovery time is probably much greater as well, as it’s much harder for those muscles to recover when they don’t have proper blood flow.
Higher Blood Pressure
Hypertension is one of the leading causes of heart problems and can be caused by poor diet, lack of exercise, and, of course, smoking. Since smoking restricts the blood vessels, the pressure inside those vessels increases dramatically, which can actually damage the vessels themselves and cause cardiac arrest, stroke, and other complications.
When you’re working out, the body is pushing fresh blood through blood vessels at an increased rate, so when you combine that with high blood pressure from smoking, you risk overworking your heart. The bottom line? Smoking and working out do not go together!
If you want to get a good workout in, it’s time to quit smoking. You’ll notice increased lung capacity, longer workouts, and a general sense of well-being when you put the cigarettes down. Luckily, quitting smoking in today’s world is easier than ever with products like tobacco free pouches, vape panes, and tobacco alternatives.
Nearly 500,000 people die every year from smoking-related deaths in the US. Smoking and working out are contradictory to each other; one focuses on improving the body’s health, stamina, and physiological processes, whereas the other works to damage the body and increase the likelihood of harmful diseases and death.
While the numbers have dropped over the years, smoking still represents a significant risk to those who take part in it. It’s great to see so many people turning away from cigarettes and tobacco products, but we’ve still got a long way to go to spread awareness and prevent cigarette-related deaths.
You can start today, and your body will immediately thank you for quitting.
What Happens When You Quit
Soon after you quit smoking, your lungs begin to heal, your heart rate drops to normal levels, and your energy levels will increase. Walking across the room or up a flight of stairs will no longer leave you feeling winded, and within just a few years, your lungs can almost completely heal.
You’ll also decrease your risk for cancers, lung and heart disease, and other health complications the minute after you smoke your last cigarette. Your body begins the healing process within just a few hours, starting with removing carbon monoxide from the blood and returning oxygen levels to normal.
You’ll notice a burst of energy that’ll help you achieve the right workout routine. You can’t get in shape while you’re smoking, because you’re essentially putting a handicap on your own body. Ditch the cigarettes, head to the gym, and take back control of your personal health for a happy, healthy lifestyle.
Smoking and workout are simply not compatible. They’re a direct contradiction of each other, and smoking regularly can make your workouts less effective, destroy your energy and driver, and even cause you to ditch your workout routine altogether. When you smoke, the only thing you’re doing is destroying your body. Drop the cigarette, pick up a dumbbell, and let’s get started on a path toward peak physical health.