4 Adverse Effects of Smoking to Exercise

by Dr Antonio Howell, MD

in side effects

The 3 Week Diet

Whether you are trying to lose weight, build your muscles, or enhance your stamina and endurance, smoking during workout is never a good idea. The adverse effects of smoking to the body during strenuous physical exercise can be severe, ranging from low levels of energy to oxygen deprivation.

Cardiac Overload

A healthy heart depends not just on the amount of nutrients the body receive but also on the flow of oxygen. Exercise usually involves intense body movements that trigger the heart rate to speed up, causing the heart to pump more blood. Tobacco contains thousands of chemicals that place additional strain on the heart. This means the heart has to work double time to supply the body with the needed nutrients. As this continues, the heart gets weaker and weaker. According to experts, additional stress on the heart increases the risk of cardiovascular illnesses such as heart attack.

Low Endurance


If you are a smoker, you are less likely to sustain long hours in the gym. Smoking deprives the flow of oxygen in your veins, preventing it from reaching the brain. This leads to various symptoms such as dizziness, nausea, fatigue, and shortness of breath.


Poor Muscle Health

Muscle strength is a core aspect of exercise. To build strong muscles, you need to supply your body with high amount of nutrients, including protein. Smokers are more likely to have nutrient imbalance as the blood flow in their body is disrupted. If you are in a bodybuilding workout program, do not expect to get your muscles fully developed. Expect slow progress, until you quit smoking. Also, the reduction in oxygen supply can severely affect your ability to gain muscle mass. The toxins found in tobacco lengthen the amount of time needed to repair torn muscles after a heavy workout. This in turn affects the rate at which the muscles gain more fibers. This is because the muscles could not gain mass unless they have completely repaired.

Unhealthy Lungs

To maximize your workout efforts and endure the daunting activities in the gym, you must have healthy lungs. However, we all know that smoking targets the lungs, being the number one cause of lung cancer in the world. Exercising becomes easy if your lungs are in good condition. You are able to breathe well and allow the oxygen to freely enter your blood stream.


If you will quit smoking today

If you will stop smoking now, exercising will become much more enjoyable. Expect a significant improvement in your stamina, endurance, strength, and recovery. Studies show that exercising can actually help reduce cigarette craving. If you are a smoker and wanting to quit, try incorporating exercise in your daily regimen. If you are currently in a workout program and you smoke, look for a smoking cessation method that is most appropriate for you.

Quitting smoking today will not just positively affect the way you exercise but all other aspects of your life, may it be physical, social, financial or emotional.

The 3 Week Diet

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