Smoking is unarguably the most vilified behavior in the societies of today. There is a reason why it is so passionately frowned upon. Its prohibition in most public spaces is not without basis. The dangers and effects of smoking have been well documented and demonstrated beyond any shadow of doubt.
For a bodybuilder who cares so much about fitness, having a smoking habit is rather ironic. You cannot enthrone a life of health and endorse the same habits that go against it. Understandably, a nicotine addiction is said to be one of the hardest addictions to break. But break it you must. If not for the profound risk of cancer it brings, do it for your bodybuilding passions. Because smoking limits you in more ways than you might be aware of.
One of the immediate effects of picking up a smoking habit is the restrictions it brings to your respiratory system. It increases airway resistance, and this limits the amount of air that goes into your lungs. Coupled with the tar that is disposed in the surface lung, the total surface area left for air exchanges is significantly reduced. This leads to a reduced oxygen intake, which means your muscles are inadequately supplied. Without enough oxygen to convert glucose into energy, you are unable to lift as heavy weights, or lift them for as long. Those last reps are sacrificed because your lungs cannot meet the body’s demand sufficiently.
In addition to reduced performance, smoking increases the risk of artheroscelrosis. With reduced arterial flow, delivery of oxygen and nutrients is slowed, leading to a lackluster athletic performance.
Smoking also interferes with absorption of critical macronutrients, implying that muscle growth and recovery is affected. There are other effects, such as bad breath, risk of gum disease and more frequent respiratory illnesses. It also interferes with appetite.
Even without further elaboration, it is apparent that you cannot achieve any bodybuilding goals while still smoking. You can give up the habit though, with enough resolution.
Bodybuilding as a Cessation Method
Bodybuilding has therapeutic effects and has been implied to individuals who desire to fight their various addictions.
The feel-good hormones released after working out increase feelings of self-worth, and this can discourage smoking. Additionally, time spent in the gym is less time thinking about having a smoke. The fatigue experienced after overwhelms the body, and the desire to rest can outweigh the desire to smoke.
If you work out every day and meet your daily nutrient requirements, your desire to succeed will equally grow. Eventually, it becomes harder to smoke because at some subliminal level, you will detest it because it distracts or deviates from your goal.
The journey of a bodybuilder is almost spiritual. It transforms in both a literal and figurative sense. If you truly believe that bodybuilding is something you want to do with your life, you should find the strength to give up smoking. If you let bodybuilding be a reward in itself for not smoking, you will eschew the habit keep away from it for good.
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