Smoking combustible cigarettes doesn’t exactly go hand in hand with promoting a healthy lifestyle. In fact, long-term smoking negatively impacts your physical health, which can limit one’s ability to do physical activity. So, if you’re curious about just how smoking affects your cardiovascular endurance, heart rate, and recovery rate, it’s time to explore how you can better lead an active lifestyle when you quit smoking now.
Smoking combustible cigarettes reduces lung function
There’s a known link between damage to lung health and smoking combustible cigarettes. While these conditions can be as mild as shortness of breath, coughing, and reduced lung capacity, they can also be as severe as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and lung cancer. All of the above lung issues make it challenging for the smoker to engage in physical activities that require stamina and endurance.
Smoking combustible cigarettes decreases cardiovascular endurance
Whether you’re the one who smokes combustible cigarettes or simply the person breathing in secondhand smoke, both situations result in a major risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Since smoking constricts blood vessels and increases blood pressure, it also raises the risk of having a heart attack or a stroke. These issues can severely limit your ability to engage in cardiovascular exercises like running, cycling, or swimming.
Smoking combustible cigarettes weakens your bones
Did you know that smoking is linked to decreased bone density and increased risk of fractures? The longer you smoke combustible cigarettes, the more it hinders your ability to engage in weight-bearing exercises, such as lifting weights or participating in high-impact sports.
Smoking combustible cigarettes reduces motivation
Nicotine has the potential to change the way synapses are formed, which can harm the parts of the brain that control attention and learning. Since nicotine addiction hijacks your brain’s reward system, it can be challenging to find motivation for physical activity. It isn’t uncommon for those who smoke combustible cigarettes to feel less inclined to engage in exercise due to this ongoing lowering of impulse control.
For those that quit smoking, did you notice a huge return in energy levels? Drop a comment below to share your story.