Negative Effects of Smoking Tobacco on Physical Fitness

It is common knowledge that tobacco and smoking cigarettes is not good for the body. In addition to not being healthy, tobacco can interfere with physical activity. I will highlight why smokers are less physically fit than non-smokers and the negative consequences that cigarettes have on exercise. At the end of the article, I will encourage those who smoke by focusing on the health benefits of giving up this habit.

Why are smokers in worse physical shape than non-smokers?

The heart and lungs require oxygen-rich blood to reach maximum performance levels. When a person inhales the smoke of tobacco into the lungs they put carbon monoxide into their body. When carbon monoxide is mixed with hemoglobin, the part of red blood cells that transports oxygen to the body, the power to move oxygen is decreased. This results in a decrease in oxygen being delivered to the cells of the body and to the lungs and heart; consequently, it diminishes endurance, making it hard to excel in sports and go about routine activities.

Additional consequences that smoking has on sports and exercise

*Studies have found that smokers become drained sooner than non-smokers, and that they cannot run at as fast of a speed or as far of a distance as non-smokers can.

*Those who smoke receive less advantages from physical activity.

*Smokers generally have less strength and elasticity.

*People who inhale tobacco have disrupted sleep patterns.

*Individuals who engage in smoking are inflicted with shortness of breath nearly three times more frequently than non-smokers.

*Smoking causes an increased heart rate.

*Smoking escalates tiredness both during and after working out.

*A study found that adolescents that engaged in smoking for five days experienced an 8 percent decline in their endurance time when compared to the control group.

*Those who smoke have a lower probability of continuing to workout.

The impact smoking has on the bones and joints

Smoking is bad for the bones and the joints and increases the chances of obtaining the following conditions:

*Fractured hips

*Lower back pain


*Rheumatoid arthritis (RA)

*Injuries from exercising such as sprains and fractures

Benefits associated with giving up cigarettes

There is some light at the end of the tunnel since those who give up smoking may find that many or all of the negative symptoms from smoking disappear.

Other health benefits associated with giving up cigarettes include a decrease in the chances of obtaining the following:

*Premature death

*Heart attack


*Lung diseases, including lung cancer

*Cancer of the voice box, mouth, throat and esophagus

*Sterility and infertility

*Dental difficulties, including gum disease

Clearly, smoking is not a good habit to start; on the other hand, it is a great habit to kick to the curb.


Cleveland Clinic

NSMA (The Non-Smokers' Movement of Australia Inc.)

Web MD

More from Rebecca Bardelli:

Hatha Yoga Can Decrease the Desire to Smoke

Four Classes of Medications that Can Affect Physical Activity: Symptoms and Solutions

The Risks and Side Effects of Taking Steroids

Controlling asthma during athletic activities

Rebecca completed courses in Medical Terminology, Administrative Medical Assisting, and Coding and Billing. She is recognized by the National Healthcareer Association as a Certified Billing and Coding Specialist (CBCS) and Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA). In addition, Rebecca is a former gymnast and is avid about yoga, swimming and other athletic activities.