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Whether at the gym or on your own at home, if you’re regularly working out, you need to be extra careful regarding your health. This, of course, won’t be possible if you’re working out and also smoking at the same time.
Smoking, in itself, is bad for your health. If you’re smoking while working out, you won’t be able to make the most out of your workout sessions. As to why that’s the case, keep reading to find out.
Decreased Lung Function
According to Cleveland Clinic, a major reason to avoid smoking when working out is the significant negative impact it has on lung function. Smoking introduces harmful chemicals and toxins into your lungs, leading to a host of respiratory problems. It irritates the airways, causing them to narrow, and contributes to the accumulation of mucus, which impairs airflow.
As a result, you'll find it more challenging to breathe efficiently during exercise, reducing your performance and making your workouts less effective.
According to the American Lung Association, if you engage in activities like running, swimming, or cycling, proper lung function is a must. Smoking compromises the ability of your lungs to deliver oxygen to your muscles, limiting your endurance and hindering your progress. If you're committed to reaching your fitness goals, quitting smoking is a necessary step to protect and improve your lung function.
Decreased Cardiovascular Health
Smoking is a leading cause of heart disease, and it poses a significant threat to your cardiovascular health. On the other hand, you need to exercise regularly if you’re eager to improve your cardiovascular health and promote healthy blood circulation. However, if you’re constantly smoking, it’ll undermine these positive effects and instead, increase your risk of heart disease.
The combination of regular exercise and smoking places additional stress on the cardiovascular system. This, in turn, can lead to complications such as heart attacks and strokes.
Besides, smoking reduces the effectiveness of exercise in improving cardiovascular health. Despite your best efforts in the gym, the damage caused by smoking may offset the benefits gained through physical activity. For individuals who work out regularly, quitting smoking is a crucial step toward maintaining a strong and healthy heart.
Increased Risk of Graves’ Disease
Smoking can also increase the risk of Graves' disease, which in turn can lead to thyroid eye disease (TED). It’s a difficult disease in itself, and the fact that meds used to treat thyroid eye disease are also unsafe is another problem entirely. This, according to TorHoerman Law, was echoed in the Tepezza lawsuit.
Tepezza is a drug used for treating TED. However, it was later discovered that the drug was causing hearing problems and permanent hearing loss as well. That’s why the Tepezza lawsuit was filed so that the victims could seek compensation for the health problems they suffered because of the drug.
If you carry on with your workouts without treating Graves’ Disease first, you’ll be putting your health at severe risk. The disease, by itself, will cause your heart rate to go up and increase metabolism. Exercising can further speed up your heart rate which, in turn, can lead to the risk of heart failure.
Reduced Exercise Tolerance
Exercise tolerance refers to your body's ability to endure and adapt to physical activity. When you smoke, your exercise tolerance is compromised in several ways.
Firstly, as reported by Medical News Today, smoking contributes to fatigue and lethargy, making it difficult to maintain a consistent workout routine. Secondly, the reduced lung function and cardiovascular health discussed earlier hinder your ability to push your body to its limits during exercise.
As a result, you may find yourself feeling tired and out of breath much sooner than non-smokers, limiting the effectiveness of your workouts.
In essence, smoking and exercise tolerance are at odds with each other. To maximize the benefits of your workouts and enhance your physical performance, quitting smoking is an essential step. You'll find that your ability to endure and adapt to physical activity greatly improves, allowing you to reach your fitness goals more effectively.
Increased Risk of Injuries
Smoking not only affects your physical performance but also increases your risk of injuries during exercise.
When you smoke, you’re basically taking nicotine which can constrict blood vessels and reduce blood flow to muscles and other tissues. As a result, it’s very likely that you have to deal with muscle cramps and strains.
On top of that, smoking can weaken your bones by reducing calcium absorption. This can make you more susceptible to various types of injuries including fractures.
If you're a regular gym-goer, the last thing you want is to be sidelined by injuries that could have been prevented by quitting smoking. By eliminating this harmful habit from your life, you can reduce your injury risk and keep your fitness journey on track.
When you’re done with a strenuous workout, your body needs to recover and repair itself, and for that, it needs time. Without proper recovery, you can’t give your muscles the opportunity to grow and improve overall well-being.
Smoking, however, will interfere with this process. Cigarette smoke toxins hamper your healing process by reducing blood flow to the muscles. This, in turn, almost certainly delays the delivery of essential nutrients and oxygen to the body’s damaged tissues.
Smoking also contributes to inflammation and oxidative stress, both of which can slow down the recovery process. Inflammation will, for certain, lead to prolonged soreness. Oxidative stress, on the other hand, can damage muscle cells, hindering their growth and repair.
As you quit smoking, you give your body the chance to recover more efficiently. This can help you bounce back from intense workouts more quickly.
It’d be in your best interest if you could give up smoking entirely. If you find that difficult to do, at least limit your smoking for as long as you’re regularly working out. That way, your workouts will, for sure, bring you some good results. Also, hopefully, if you continue to keep working out, you might actually end up giving up on smoking entirely, which is even better.