How smoking affects your workout performance and overall health?
Are you exercising and eating right, but also continuing your habit of smoking? You are at risk if you are doing that. While exercising and proper dietary habits can reduce your fatigue and nutrient deficiencies, smoking can increase the risks for your lungs, arteries, heart, stomach, mouth and many other organs and parts of your body. When you smoke, it can seriously reduce the ability of your body to work out and get physically fit. It can be detrimental for your overall athletic performance in more ways than one.
Reduces flow of blood
The carbon monoxide and nicotine that is supplied to your body due to smoking can make your blood adulterated and impure. These can also lead to a narrowing of your arteries, thus reducing blood flow to the vital organs of your body – such as the muscles and heart. You have to exercise harder or with more effort as a result. While you work out, the flow of blood can improve the supply of oxygen to your muscles. Unless your muscles are quickly able to get sufficient oxygen, your body will be unable to work.
Thus, the very first way that your physical performance is limited by smoking is associated to blood flow. Due to smoking, the blood vessels in the body get constricted. There is less flow of blood all through the body as well as to the muscular cells.
In the absence of enough pure blood, the muscles of your body will be unable to get enough nutrients that are necessary for maximum workout performance. They will not receive the oxygen that is necessary for performance.
After you give up smoking for 2 – 3 weeks, there will be an improvement in your lung functioning and you will begin to feel this. You can experience your cardiovascular performance increasing for any activity, such as workouts or even brisk walking, that you take up.
Raises the heart rate
Your resting heart rate, or the number of beats per minute produced by the heart during your state of inactivity, gets increased due to smoking. As you smoke, the resting heart rate gets raised due to the additional work that your heart needs to do in order to make your body work well. There are risks of your resting heart rate rising to potentially dangerous levels, and carrying out strenuous physical activities will be too much to ask from your heart. The risk of death can be increased when you have a resting heart rate that is higher than normal.
Reduced oxygen levels
Your lung capacity can be hurt a lot due to smoking. When you have excellent lung capacity, you can work out much better. Your lungs can get coated by the tar that is present in the cigarettes. The elasticity of the air sacs can be compromised due to the tar. Due to smoking, phlegm is produced – which can lead to lung congestion. When you smoke a few cigarettes each day, it can reduce the ability of your body to effectively use the oxygen that you breathe in. It can reduce your optimal oxygen uptake by as much as 10%. This can reduce your workout performance significantly.
If your working muscle cells do not get enough oxygen, you are going to experience a higher level of fatigue with each passing day. Thus, you are likelier to work out at a reduced level of intensity, which can lead to decreased physical results.
Reduced muscular strength
Smoking may also have an effect on your muscle strength. When non-smoking and smoking people are tested side by side, those who smoke are found to have a reduced level of overall muscular strength, particularly when it comes to their grip strength. The Kagawa University’s Faculty of Medicine in Japan performed a study that established this.
Thus, even in case you are into strength training to boost the strength of your body, all the benefits that you are supposed to be witnessing will be negated by smoking.
When you quit smoking, your heart rate will start to experience a drop within a few days. If you maintain a lifestyle free of nicotine, the heart rate will reduce further and stay normal – just as in case of any non-smoker. Within only a couple of hours after quitting, you can experience better blood flow and a reduction in blood pressure levels. Both these activities will be improved a lot.
Thus, it makes sense why you should give up smoking as soon as you can. This is undoubtedly among the worst habits, and can have a very negative impact on your workout performance as well as overall health. If you are serious about reaching your exercise goals, and work out regularly, it would be better for you to kick the butt. Your lung function, blood circulation and heart rate – all will get a boost, and improve your workout performance.