Smoking is a habit that claims the lives of about 500,000 Americans on an annual basis. From lung disease to various cancers, heart complications, and other ailments, smoking causes extensive damage to the body. Working out is exactly the opposite; exercise can help extend your life, improve both physical and mental health, and lead to greater overall wellness.
So, is your smoking habit affecting gym performance? Can you ever reach your goals while you’re smoking? The short answer is yes, of course, smoking affects your performance, even if you don’t realize it. Let’s dive deeper into the effects of smoking on your body to better understand why you can’t get your best gym workout while taking a drag off a cigarette.
Inhalation Of Harmful Chemicals
When you inhale something other than oxygen into your lungs, you’re doing the body a disservice. The lungs are designed to accept oxygen and the other naturally-occurring gases found in our atmosphere, exchange those gases, and exhale waste products. Anything else that goes into the lungs is a foreign body and a potential threat to the health and functionality of these vitally important organs.
Now, let’s look at cigarettes, which are home to about 7,000 harmful chemicals and toxins, over 70 of which have been directly linked to cancers and diseases. You’re inhaling a deadly concoction of carbon monoxide, heavy metals, formaldehyde, nicotine, ammonia, arsenic, and even radioactive elements.
That cigarette you’re holding has the power to kill you slowly, and you’ve voluntarily allowed it into your life and your daily routine. Carbon monoxide interferes with hemoglobin in red blood cells, making the process of oxygenation that much more difficult. What’s that mean for gym performance?
You’re going to have lower stamina, have trouble catching your breath, and may actually end up overworking your heart.
The Heart And Blood Vessels
The heart supplies oxygen-rich blood to vital organs, tissues, and muscles all over the body. This organ keeps everything functioning properly and takes special care and maintenance to keep it healthy. Can you guess where we’re going with this? Smoking does not help keep the heart healthy, and with heart disease being the number one killer of US adults, taking care of your heart should be a top priority.
Smoking can help raise blood pressure and make the heart work that much harder to do its job. When you have high blood pressure, vessels constrict, making it more difficult for blood to flow. This can damage blood vessel walls and even cardiac muscle, which can lead to heart attack, stroke, and more.
Quitting smoking is truly one of the best decisions you can make for the health of some of your most vital organs. Without oxygen, muscles don’t function as well and you can’t reach peak performance at the gym. There’s simply no way around it; smoking is holding you back from reaching your fitness goals. It’s time to change that.
Contradiction Of Values
By going to the gym, you’re supporting a personal value of keeping your body healthy. But by smoking, you’re directly contradicting that value. Smoking and exercise are like oil and water, they simply don’t mix. You’re contradicting yourself and your entire value system by trying to uphold both at the same time.
Let’s not forget that daily exercise can drastically improve your health and overall well-being, whereas smoking is actively destroying your health. No matter how often or how intensely you work out, every time you light up, you’re essentially undoing all of your hard work. Each cigarette is another step toward disease, cancer, and other complications that no amount of exercise can prevent or treat.
Ditching The Habit
Making the decision to give up cigarettes can be life-changing. Within just a few days’ time, you’ll notice you have more energy and motivation to get up and do things. Smoking makes you lethargic, zaps your energy levels, and can even increase depression symptoms and anxiety; none of which are conducive to a healthy, active lifestyle.
Leaving smoking behind forever is easier than ever. Products like CBD gummies, tobaccoless dip, and nicotine gum can all help you remove cigarettes from your life and keep you on track to a better, happier, life.
It’s time to put down the cigarettes and fulfill those fitness goals that have been out of reach for so long. Don’t let a destructive habit like smoking keep you from becoming your best self!
The Bottom Line
Yes, smoking does drastically affect gym performance and make the process of exercising that much more difficult and strenuous on the body. The simple truth is that you can’t do both and expect to have any success. It’s time to ditch the cigarettes and focus on your fitness instead for the sake of your health and happiness.
If you are interested in even more lifestyle-related articles and information from us here at Bit Rebels, then we have a lot to choose from.