We often talk about regular smoking in terms of death, addiction, and long-term health consequences. Whilst these are all important to stress, they can make the issues more abstract and less relevant to your present life.
However, besides being an expensive habit, there are many ways it’s hurting your present self – one of which is your fitness. Before exploring some of the ways it hinders your abilities on the field, it’s worth pointing out that you can buy Nicopods online which aids consumption of nicotine but without any of these following detriments to health and fitness. These are chewables without the tar, basically.
Smoking is proven to increase your resting heart rate. Anyone that owns a Fitbit or is into their fitness knows that resting heart rate is one measure of how fit you are – a lower resting heart rate means you don’t have to work as hard to circulate blood around your body. In other words, smoking makes you less efficient at this.
This can also cause issues when exercising, with heart rates reaching dangerous levels above what is considered safe. This then limits the number of miles you can run, which limits training, which then further worsens your resting heart rate.
Lung capacity is extremely important when playing sports, as better lung capacity allows oxygen circulation, which is needed to keep your muscles working. Unsurprisingly, the tar from cigarette smoke creates a coated layer within the lungs. This makes the air sacs less elastic and thus reduces their capacity.
On top of this, smoking creates phlegm and mucus, which congest the lungs and breathing pathways. Even if smoking isn’t regular enough to damage the heart or cause cancer, even just a few cigarettes can cause an immediate impact on the lungs and make your cardio fitness worse.
Cigarettes contain nicotine and carbon monoxide, both of which are bad for your blood. Blood can become more sticky and arteries can become more narrow. This inevitably reduces the flow of blood to your muscles and heart, meaning cardiovascular fitness reduces. Blood flow is important during exercise because it supplies oxygen to the muscles to keep them fueled.
Alternatives to smoking
Many alternatives are created for the very reason of reducing the harm of cigarettes, whilst still facilitating nicotine consumption. Nicotine can have a negative impact on blood, meaning that alone can also hinder fitness. However, this is to a much smaller degree than tar and cigarette smoke more generally, so it is a good idea to consider alternatives.
Vaping, nicotine pouches and other forms of nicotine can immediately relieve the lungs and the heart. One thing that is misunderstood is the belief that smoking cigarette causes irreversible damage. Whilst this is often true, it often isn’t too. Quitting smoking can rapidly improve the health of your lungs and have immediate impacts on fitness and sports.Once quitting cigarettes, there are many other lifestyle choices that can benefit wellbeing and fitness too. It’s great to use quitting as extra motivation that can improve other areas of your life, too.