Many people don’t believe smokers can be athletes. This is an inaccurate stereotype. Around 8% of moderate smokers exercise at least 60 minutes a week.

Unfortunately, smoking tends to adversely affect the quality of exercise. There are a number of problems that cigarette smoking creates.

If you are a regular smoker, then you probably aren’t getting as much out of your workout as you should. You might also face additional health risks that you have to watch out.

Major Ways That Smoking Can Negatively Impact Your Workout

If you are a regular smoker and want to get more value from your workouts, then you should make a sincere effort to quit. You might be more motivated to give up cigarettes or at least switch to a tobacco alternative if you recognize the consequences. Some of the biggest problems are listed below.

Smoking Increases The Viscosity Of Your Blood

Cigarettes contain a lot of harmful byproducts and chemicals. Nicotine, carbon monoxide, and tar are some of the worst. These three chemicals and compounds make your blood denser and more viscous. As a result, there will a larger coefficient of friction between your blood and the walls of your arteries, which makes it harder for your blood to travel through your body.

The long-term consequences of this can be catastrophic. Since your body is having trouble transporting blood, your heart will have to pump harder. This puts more strain on your heart and puts you at a greater risk for cardiovascular disease. Certain muscles and organs might not get enough blood, which means that you might be deprived of oxygen and essential nutrients.

Smoking Tends To Reduce Lung Volume Considerably

Regular smokers also suffer from reduced lung capacity. One study found that the chest circumference at the site of the axilla of smokers was 18% lower than that of non-smokers. Since there is a non-linear relationship between chest conference and lung volume, this indicates that smokers have serious trouble staying active without getting winded.

This can create serious problems for smokers as they try to exercise. They will frequently feel short of breath, which prevents them from exerting themselves enough to get a good workout.

Smoking Could Increase Heart Rate Too Much During Exercise

Smoking increases your blood pressure considerably. This in turn can cause your heart rate to be elevated. Nicotine is a stimulant, which also plays a role in increasing a smoker’s heart rate.

Smokers have a higher heart rate, regardless of whether they are resting or working out. This is not usually too much of a concern for physically active smokers. However, there can be situations where their heart rate becomes dangerously elevated. In these circumstances, the athlete could be a high risk of having a stroke.

Of course, this should not be used to discourage smokers from exercising at all. Healthy levels of exercise minimize their blood pressure and improve heart health in some important ways, which can at least partially offset the hazards of smoking. However, overly strenuous exercise could put some smokers at a higher risk of stroke. This is more likely when combined with other risk factors, such as:

  • Obesity

  • Family history of cardiovascular heart disease

  • High levels of stress

  • Previous strokes

  • The use of other harmful substances concurrently with nicotine

Smokers facing these risk factors should take things slow until they are familiar with their heart rate. They need to make sure that they don’t push things too hard and face serious heart problems such as a stroke. They may also need to address some of the other risk factors before increasing their level of activity, such as using CBD products to manage stress to lower heart rates

Smokers Can Have A Higher Risk Of Bone Fractures While Working Out

Most athletes are aware of the debilitating effect that smoking has on heart and lung health. However, few people realize that smoking can also put them at a higher risk of bone fractures.

Why is there a correlation between bone fractures and smoking? Since smoking impedes the ability of the body to transport blood, it can’t get calcium to the bones as easily. Bones that are chronically deprived of calcium tend to be more brittle. Smokers are at a higher risk of bone fractures, especially when engaging in high impact physical activity.

Athletes Should Make Quitting Smoking A Top Priority

Smoking creates a number of serious health risks that cannot be ignored. Athletes will find that smoking regularly hurts their performance and puts them at a greater risk of stroke and other health problems. They should make it a priority to quit smoking as soon as possible.