Smoker and exercise are two words that are not normally found in the same sentence. Unless the sentence happens to be “She cant exercise because she smokes”. To me, a smoker, that is a myth. It’s true that smokers tend to need more exercise than non-smokers, due to the condition of their lungs, or that smokers may take a longer amount of time to stop huffing and puffing while on the treadmill than non-smokers, but exercise is very beneficial to those of us that smoke.
Smoking has many side-effects that can be greatly reduced by exercise. For example, it is commonly known that smoking causes the blood vessels and arteries in the body to constrict and become smaller, especially in the lungs. Therefore, it is harder for the blood to flow to and from the lungs making it harder to breathe. Exercise will increase the amount of blood moving through the veins, vessels and arteries causing them to stay in a relaxed state, and exercise done on a regular basis will enable them to stay that way. Almost reversing the effects of smoking.
Exercise also increases the amount of air and oxygen taken into the body and to the lungs. The more you push your lungs to take in air on a routine basis, the more exercise the lungs will get by expanding, making them more healthy. Healthy lungs, whether a person smokes or not, can reduce or eliminate several breathing difficulties, such as, shortness of breath, couching, or wheezing.
Then there is the added benefit of overall health. Exercise gives a person a sense of health and well-being. It is also responsible for having more energy. The whole body gains health from exercise. The muscles gain strength while the fat percentage is reduced, which can result in lower cholesteral and lower blood pressure.
The organs inside a smoker, particularly the kidneys and liver (those being the body’s filter’s) can suffer from smoking, causing their levels to be elevated when checked by blood tests. Exercise can help to reduced those levels bringing them back into normal range, thereby increasing the function of the kidneys and liver. The main organ in the body that can greatly benefit from exercise is the heart. The heart is the body’s main port of blood flow for the whole body. All blood in the body passes through the heart using the veins and arteries and in a smokers case, the heart has to work harder to push the blood through if the veins and arteries are constricted.
As previously stated, exercise expands the passageway throughout the body. That will cause the heart to have an easier job of keeping the body functioning.
Whether a person smokes or not, we can all benefit from regular exercise, but smokers can especially gain better health from the side effects of being active. Easier breathing, healthier organs, more energy and a lower fat to muscle ratio.