The Impact Of Smoking On Your Fitness Level
Don’t worry, I’m not going to bombard you with tips on how to quit smoking. I think there are a ton of articles, books, documentaries, and even movies that have been made on the subject. I’m going to focus a little more on the impact that smoking can have on your fitness level, given that if you’re reading this blog you’re definitely into being fit and all that good stuff. But if you have interest in this particular post, then either you or someone you know stands to benefit from what I have to say. Kudos on taking the first step.
Like I said in the first paragraph, everybody and their mother knows that smoking is bad for you and can cause all sorts of health issues. But that doesn’t stop people from continuing to smoke; it doesn’t even deter people from picking up the habit! It’s because the pleasure that is derived from nicotine is more instant than whatever distant benefit you will get from kicking the habit. The addiction actually gets stronger every time you light up a cigarette!
Smoking reduces your blood’s ability to carry oxygen through your body because of the carbon monoxyde attaching itself to your blood cells. A reduced ability to carry oxygen automatically means that your fitness level (all other things being equal) is lower than that of a non-smoker! You will run less time (or slower), have a harder time lifting weights, and you will experience shortness of breath. And while nicotine does give you a boost of energy, what good is that boost if your body can’t keep up once you’re engaged in a physical activity?
If you’re a smoker and want to take your fitness to the next level, then there’s no way around it: you have to quit smoking! But be prepared. You’ll need motivation, a support system, and tools to help you (such as patches, supplements…). It’s not an easy task, but it can be done!