Smoking not only causes lung disease and cancer, it is also bad for your teeth, skin and makes you look older. Now studies show that smoking even kills your motivation to be physically active.

Researchers in Brazil found that smokers are less likely and have less motivation to be physically active than non-smokers. The reason is here:-

To achieve peak performance, your heart and muscles need more oxygen, but when you inhale tobacco smoke, carbon monoxide binds to the red blood cells, that displace the oxygen, preventing oxygen delivery to muscles and other tissues. This causes increase in lactic acid (the substance that causes muscle ‘burning’, fatigue, heavier breathing, and increased soreness post exercise). This decrease in oxygen will even reduce your physical endurance, making it more difficult for you to not only exercise or play an active sport, but will even hamper daily activities, such as walking up the stairs and doing household chores.

This decrease in oxygen causes a smoker’s resting heart rate to be higher than a non-smoker’s, because the heart must work harder to deliver adequate oxygen to the body.

Apart from lung disease and exercise capacity, there are other adverse effects of smoking on physical fitness, such as:

1. Obtaining less benefit from physical training because smoking makes you feel tired, and drives down your performance.

2. Lesser muscular strength, lower endurance, stamina and flexibility. That makes you more prone to injury and stiffness. Also, it leads to poorer results from physical training.

3. Disturbed sleep patterns because tobacco contains nicotine, which is a stimulant, to increase your heart rate, blood pressure and makes you more alert and awake. That makes it harder for you to get to sleep.

4. Smokers suffer from shortness of breath almost three times as often as non-smokers because after smoking the amount of mucus released by the lungs increases which makes it difficult for the cilia to clean the lungs.

5. Twice as likely to suffer an injury as non-smokers

6. Require more time to heal after an injury. Muscle repair takes longer.

It is ironic that exercising can actually help smokers to quit smoking, since it decreases craving for nicotine, according to a 2012 review of studies in the journal Addiction.