Whether you decided to start with sports professionally or you seek a more efficient workout, the harsh truth is that if you smoke you can give up on your striving and ambitions because smoking hurts your athletic performance in several ways, harming your ability to exercise and be physically fit.
Without going deeper into the reasons why you started smoking in the first place and without lecturing why it is bad for your overall health and wellbeing, let’s see how smoking affects your sports performance and why you need to stop smoking – forever if you may ask.
First of all, you need to know that what’s affecting your fitness mostly is cigarette smoke, as it clogs the lungs’ cells and causes a reduction of oxygen levels in your blood. Simply put, you are in the same position as someone with chronic disease or physical handicap.
Quitting smoking is one of the hardest things to do in a smoker’s life and it just cannot be done immediately. And there is a relatively new product on the market, Swedish snus, that gives you a much-needed nicotine dosage (with an option to gradually reduce nicotine intake) without all that smoke, fumes, and stifling. It is easy to use, to store and many salute the more direct absorption through the mucosa with symptoms starting almost immediately.
So, if you don’t want to smoke, if you want to gradually lower the nicotine level towards the surcease or you just plan to switch to another form of consumption – snus is perfect for you.
For Brain, Blood, and Heart’s Sake
We now know the effects smoking has on the lungs and oxygen’s presence there, but its distribution throughout your body is affected too. Smoking causes the blood vessels to clench and get blocked with plaque, which can significantly reduce muscular endurance, it can also increase blood pressure, with the heart suddenly working arduously more than it should just to pump blood.
That shortness of breath you note first is only a reaction to muscles, heart, and circulatory systems requiring more oxygen than your lungs are able to supply.
Loss of blood flow can alter the way muscles work as well, as they become fatigued more quickly, which then leads to a higher probability, and percentage, of injury. Without enough oxygen and with weary muscles, it was observed that athletes make poorer decisions, do wrong warming-up, or even become dizzy and faint.
On the other hand, smoking means longer healing times, in the case of an injury. It reduces the body’s ability to repair skin and ligaments, all while reducing the bones’ strength and joints’ grip.
Not only that you fight for your breath while performing or exercising, but the odds in case of injuries also are not in your favor. The ability of nicotine to bind to red blood cells and replace oxygen will reduce your physical endurance, making it more difficult for you to do not well, but to do anything in sports generally. If everyday activities like walking up the stairs were a sports discipline, even then you will lose.