Luxury foods and health-damaging fitness no-go at the same time . This is how smoking appears in our society. Around 1/3 of the world’s population smokes. The relaxing effects of smoking is a major reason many people become addicted. Contrary to all assumptions, there are also a lot of athletes among them. But is there even a single argument that the combination of smoking and fitness training makes sense? We say: NO!
Does smoking damage muscles?
More and more medical studies are showing that smoking doesn’t just reduce stress. Rather, long-term cigarette consumption damages the body significantly, pollutes the environment through passive smoking and empties the wallet. After all, our state earns a lot of money from smokers pursuing their addiction every day. “ Smoking 15 to 20 cigarettes a day shortens life on average by about one and a half years “, says the Freiburg sports doctor Hans Dickhuth. This does not have a direct effect on cardio training in the gym, but it does away with the effect that can be achieved through regular endurance training: an average of one and a half years longer life expectancy. Apparently we have found an argument that smoking cannot be banned while exercising – so statistically one shouldn’t die earlier. But statistically, statistics are not really meaningful!
- How does smoking affect fitness training and health?
It cannot be said in general that regular smoking has a negative effect on muscular coordination and muscle performance. However, it has been medically proven that smoking results in significant restrictions in endurance training and fitness. This is mainly due to the carbon monoxide that gets into the blood within a few seconds.
It binds to the oxygen-transporting protein “hemoglobin”, which is located in red blood cells and thus prevents the transport of oxygen. Result: Less oxygen is transported in the blood, which leads to a considerable loss of performance, especially during endurance training!
Nicotine leads to constriction and calcification of the heart vessels, which can lead to secondary diseases or a heart attack. It enters the blood through the mucous membranes, increases the pulse rate and blood pressure and increases the heart muscle’s need for oxygen, while increasingly less oxygen can be transported due to vasoconstriction and carbon monoxide-saturated hemoglobin.
Tar deposits in the body are the main cause of cancer. Almost 80 to 90 percent of lung cancer patients are long-term smokers.
- Does smoking keep you awake and productive during fitness training?
Yes. However, this only lasts a few minutes and is due to the fact that smoking activates the vegetative nervous system for a short time, which controls metabolic activity and vital functions. Before the euphoria about this realization leads to a “cigarette before weight training”, it should be said that this short-term effect is destroyed by the already mentioned performance-reducing effects of nicotine and carbon monoxide. Smoking has no significant performance-enhancing effect!
- Health risk smoking
The human body gradually breaks down nicotine and carbon monoxide. Nevertheless, residues from continuous smoking lead to damage to health in the long term. Inflammation or lung irritation not only lead to asthma or a smoker’s cough, but can also lead to loss of libido, tooth discoloration and a drop in athletic performance. Everything is not particularly aesthetic and advantageous. Far worse: Passive smoking not only harms smokers, but also bystanders. Children in particular breathe in 1/4 of the harmful ingredients when they are near smokers.
Do you have to smoke after these findings? Quit smoking and rather start exercising. With an intensive workout you not only reduce a lot more stress, but also stay fit and improve your physical performance. Maybe fitness training will help with smoking cessation! What is your experience?
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