Are you training hard, putting the hours in at the gym, eating healthily and smoking…? If that sounds like you then take a moment and read on to find out how smoking can seriously affect your training regime and limit your physical performance.
Smoking could really be holding you back, but you will be pleased to know that by quitting you’ll see positive effects almost immediately. Check out the quitting timeline, that explains all the positive effects from twenty minutes after your last cigarette to years down the line.
Here are just a few reasons why any athlete or health conscious individual should quit smoking.
Poorly Oxygenated Blood
The carbon monoxide in cigarette smoke binds to the haemoglobin of your blood, that’s the stuff that delivers oxygen to muscles! Your muscles are crying out for much-needed oxygen when you’re in the midst of exercise. Poor oxygenation of blood can lead to muscle cramps, as well as lowering your performance and endurance.
Narrowing of Blood Vessels
When you smoke, you narrow your blood vessels, making it much harder for your heart to pump blood throughout your body. Coupled with the lower levels of oxygenation in smokers’ blood, getting your body the oxygen it needs during exercise is a serious handicap for any active person.
Resting Heart Rate Increases
By smoking you increase your resting heart rate. This is bad news as your heart has to work a lot harder, even when you’re inactive. When you start to exercise your heart will have to work even harder again, which could possibly cause your heart beat to rise to potentially dangerous levels.
Benefit from Quitting Immediately
If you smoke, then your physical performance will improve significantly if you quit. You’ll find it easier to breath, your heart rate will decrease, you’ll generally feel healthier and you’ll also be more resistant to illness.
You’ll feel the positive effects so soon after quitting you’ll wonder why you didn’t do this years ago. Even after three days you’ll notice that your lungs have cleared, you’ll have more energy and your sense of taste and smell will have improved.
Help with Quitting
If you’re struggling to quit through sheer willpower alone then do bear in mind there are plenty of products out there to help you cope with the craving for nicotine. Nicorette nicotine patches and similar products from other well-known brands work well for some people, letting nicotine seep into the blood stream through the skin. If you are only a light smoker, this may be enough to wean you off tobacco.
Electronic cigarettes are touted by many as the ultimate smoking cessation aids. Plenty of e-cig products on the market such as YouCig e cigarettes resemble and feel like tobacco cigarettes, allowing user to experience a sensation very similar to inhaling from a cigarette, but without any of the tar, smoke or other unpleasant chemicals lurking in tobacco.
If you want to quit, but worry that you’ll struggle to go it alone then there’s help available from the NHS’s smoke free online guide. You’ll find some great advice here, along with coping techniques and support from other people who are also on the road to quitting the bad habit of a lifetime.
Think of the end result , the health benefits, the money you’ll save and the longer life you’ll enjoy. We hope that this will help spur you on to a smoke free future.