If your moral compass is determined by the worst thing you have done, then your health calibration must follow the same logic. Do a few good deeds make up for the big bad ones?
What’s the point of being skinny, but not fit?
Joshua Duvauchelle, a certified personal trainer of the American Council on Exercise, says that there are two aspects to those who smoke to curb their appetite.
A research paper published in the medical journal Addiction found that regular physical activity can help smokers quit faster and with more effective results.
As for the question of exercise undoing the harm of cigarettes, there’s more proof in the converse. Smoking is more likely to curtail your progress in the gym.
It takes no more than two cigarettes a day to do the damage, say medical studies, most of which is to the lungs. Smoking increases tissue inflammation, narrowing airways and delivering less oxygen to the body.
Smokers aren’t irresponsible people. They care about their health, too. So when a smoker decides to sign up for a fitness routine, it’s a small step in the right direction. The key word is ‘small.’
No amount of exercise or weight training will be able to make a significant contribution to your fitness levels until you kick the butt and here’s why.
1Smoking Stunts Progress
There are more subtle signs that your workout is being compromised by your habit, says Dr. Shilpi Agarwal, a holistic medicine physician.
“Long-term smokers are more likely to have lower bone density and be at risk for osteoporosis. This means even if individuals are lifting weights, they are still not building healthy bones because of the effects of smoking,” she says.
2Smoking Propels Muscle Pain & Soreness
Smoking increases lactic acid. When you feel ‘the burn’ during a workout, it’s caused by lactic acid, says Duvauchelle.
When your body has too much lactic acid, it can result in increased soreness and pain after a workout, forces you to breathe heavier, and can increase pain during the actual exercise movement.
3Smoking Damages The Metabolism
According to Dr. Scott Schreiber, a chiropractic physician and licensed nutritionist, your body will take longer to heal from injury and muscle tear if you are an avid smoker.
This is because your body is already working overtime, trying to rid itself of harmful elements that make up the nicotine mixture.
“Due to your body attempting to detoxify smoke, nicotine and other chemicals in cigarettes, the body becomes depleted of vitamins and minerals. These nutrients cannot be used for energy, and anabolic processes do not occur,” says Schreiber.
Over time the metabolism is damaged, sometimes to the point of no return, he adds. As a result, healing will happen at a slower pace, if at all.
4Smoking Causes Workout Cramps
“This is due to electrolyte depletion, which occurs during exercise. However, cigarette smoking will deplete the primary electrolytes prematurely, so they aren’t available to the body during endurance activities.
The more discomfort associated with exercise, the less you are likely to push yourself,” says Kevin Meehan, a holistic healer and founder of Meehan Formulations.
5Smoking Causes Breathlessness
Think about the last time you had to take the stairs and ended up huffing and puffing by the time you reached the third floor. This same effect is more pronounced when it comes to exercise.
Moreover, the contents of a cigarette, which include industrial solvents and tar, are unnatural and causes inflammation since the body can’t process them.
This inflammation obstructs the absorption of oxygen into the blood and compromises the ability of the blood’s hemoglobin to transport oxygen from the lungs to the body.
Since working muscles need more oxygen, you are bound to bring less strength and energy during an exercise routine than non-smokers.