How Smoking Affects Your Physical Fitness

    Smoking might help you lose weight, but it’s not healthy weight loss, and every time you take another puff, your entire body if suffering. Smoking and athletics/fitness are polar opposites, and counterproductive to one another. Your smoking habit is holding you back from becoming the best physical version of yourself you can be, and we’re going to show you how. 

    Form poor oxygenation to poor heart health and beyond, we’re going to cover some of the major effects that smoking has on the body and your overall fitness level. If you’ve been thinking about quitting, now is the time to do so. Once you read all of these effects on your body, there’s no reason not to! Let’s dive in. 

    The Lungs and Oxygenation 

    We all understand that our lungs help us breathe, but do you know why we need oxygen, and the role it plays in our bodies? Oxygen is inhaled through the lungs, and through capillary action, is transferred to red blood cells in the bloodstream. Once the blood is oxygenated it’s pumped to vital organs and tissues throughout the body, then recycled back through the heart. This process repeats, oxygenating your organs, muscles, and tissues, keeping everything working properly. 

    The lungs depend on fresh, clean air to oxygenate blood properly. When you inhale, the air passes through special air sacs called alveoli, which are responsible for the gas exchange that occurs in the lungs. 

    Let’s take a look at what smoking does to this crucial process. For starters, smoking causes damage to those all-important alveoli, thus making the process of breathing that much more difficult. With damaged alveoli, the gas exchange occurs only with difficulty, and you’re passing harmful gasses and toxins into your blood with every puff. The lungs are a direct pathway to the heart and vital organs, so whatever you breathe in ends up in your entire body. 

    Carbon monoxide is a deadly gas in large amounts, and when you smoke cigarettes, you’re adding more and more to your blood. Carbon monoxide interferes with hemoglobin in red blood cells, which is why you feel exhausted; your lungs simply aren’t able to provide the blood, organs, and muscles with enough oxygen. Instead, you’re pumping gasses like carbon monoxide throughout the body. 

    The Heart 

    Once those harmful chemicals get through the lungs, they enter the bloodstream and will pass through the heart and blood vessels. Smoking is known to increase blood pressure, which can not only damage blood vessels and cardiac tissue, but also cause stroke, heart attack, or aneurysms. 

    When you’re working out, the muscles need high-quality oxygenated blood cells to keep going. Without proper oxygenation, you won’t be able to go as far or stay active as long. Poor oxygenation causes fatigue and can leave you feeling groggy for hours after a workout. 

    Some people choose tobacco alternatives (like when they work out so they’re not breathing in cigarette smoke. This is a good choice if you want the same nicotine without the harmful effects of tobacco smoke. 

    You’ll Never Get Where You Want 

    Smoking is basically a barrier to your physical fitness. If you want to reach a certain weight, build muscle, and increase endurance, you’re blocking those goals every time you smoke. Not to mention, the two are a direct contradiction of each other. While working out and focusing on physical fitness is a lifestyle of health and happiness, smoking usually only ends one way: with death or serious illness. 

    It’s time to ditch the smoking habit and get your priorities straight. Do you want to be fit and healthy or do you want to smoke? Because you can’t do both and expect to get the best results. You’re damaging your lungs, heart, and other internal organs every time you smoke. It doesn’t matter how much you work out, because each cigarette unravels all of that hard work and causes further damage to your body. 

    You Can Quit Today 

    There are hundreds of resources available today to help you quit smoking. Alternatives like CBD oil and tobaccoless dip are affordable and effective, support groups exist both on and offline, and there are even apps that help you track progress and set goals. 

    Quitting smoking is one of the best health decisions you’ll ever make. You’ll have more energy, fewer health complications, and you’ll be able to reach all of your fitness goals! Did we mention the money you spend on cigarettes can easily pay for a gym membership?


    The bottom line is that smoking and physical fitness don’t go together. If you want to get fit, it’s time to ditch the cigarettes and take back control of your body and your life. You’ll thank yourself later, as will your family and friends.