Smoking can affect your physical performance in many ways, whether you are exercising, playing a sport, or simply walking up a set of stairs. What’s most surprising is that smoking can have an effect on one’s physical performance almost immediately after starting to smoke. Performance effects can vary from short-term to long-term and from mild to severe. These are the top ways smoking can affect your performance.
Higher Resting Heart Rate
The smoke in tobacco contains carbon monoxide which can bind to red blood cells and make it more difficult for them to carry oxygen to your muscle cells. This means that, in order for your body to get the oxygen it needs, your heart has to work harder and pump faster so that more blood can deliver oxygen throughout your body. This can make normal activities more difficult because you will feel out of breath easily. You will also find exercising to be much more tiring.
More Narrow Blood Vessels
To make the problem of transporting oxygen throughout the body worse, smoking can also cause blood vessels to become narrower. This means it may become harder for blood to be carried throughout your body. As a result, it’s harder for your muscles to get the oxygen they need while exercising, and it adds further strain on your heart.
There are many other effects that smoking can have on your performance and your ability to maintain good physical fitness:
- Lower Endurance – This means smokers will get tired before non-smokers and will have trouble exercising for longer periods of time.
- Reduced Flexibility – This can make it more difficult to stretch or perform certain exercises.
- Harder Time Sleeping – A lack of sleep can further contribute to lower endurance as well as making you less likely to be alert.
- Less Benefits From Exercising – Smoking can also lower the amount of benefits gained from any exercise you do get.
Smoking has many negative health effects, these are just the ones which we thought most directly affect your physical performance. If you are committed to becoming more healthy, we recommend you quit smoking and attend our fitness classes. PumpFit offers training classes which are designed to be fun and inclusive. Call us today and ask about trying a free class.