Jun 13, 2012 01:51PM
Photo courtesy of stock.xchng
Written by Micah Holley
Fitness training is meant to strengthen the body and mind. So why do people smoke before and after their training? Why do they smoke at all? People are at the gym to get fit and healthy. Why would they risk all of that for a cancer stick?
While running their buns off, men and women’s lungs are already suffering from their habit and are forced to work harder than the average nonsmoker’s lungs. According to the Centers of Disease Control, “Compared with nonsmokers, smoking is estimated to increase the risk of . . . women developing lung cancer by 13 times.” Seems irrelevant to work out so hard, right? Imagine what smokers with asthma feel like while exercising. It is hard enough wheezing after a 60-minute workout without smoking.
The American Lung Association says, “Cigarette smoke can narrow the air passages and make breathing more difficult. It causes chronic inflammation or swelling in the lung . . . Over time cigarette smoke destroys lung tissue, and may trigger changes that grow into cancer.”
Not only does smoking kill slowly, it kills looks. Skin becomes loose; breath turns smelly; even the consistency of hair turns brittle. Smoking damages skin from the inside out, causing age spots earlier than usual. The lack of oxygen to skin gives it a rough exterior and uneven skin tones. Skin starts sagging and wrinkles become deeper. Do not forget about those small but multiple wrinkles around the lips. Those babies say it all. They may be small, but they are not discreet.
Gum disease and smelly breath are two of the most common side effects of smoking. Teeth rot, change color, and then the germs attack gums. All of the horrendous side effects of smoking can be improved over time. That is, if a person quits smoking altogether.
When a person quits smoking, the smell of smoke leaves her skin, hair, and clothes, and blood flow and looks improve. Oxygen is able to reach the skin and decrease the chances of getting more wrinkles. Chances of having high blood pressure and a rapid heart rate decrease.
So why do so many people smoke while training?
A huge factor is that many people are afraid of weight gain. People who quit smoking often find other vices in eating. Basically, one habit ends while another develops, like eating excessive amounts of food. People can easily manage their food intake while exercising to keep off the weight.
Many smokers say they do not feel a difference right after they quit smoking. Their bodies are constantly being pushed to their limits. It isn’t until they completely stop smoking for a long period of time before they notice anything different.
Although smokers are not extinct, the number of smokers is slowly decreasing. So here is to hoping that not only those training will quit but also everyone else.
Training is supposed to help you become a better you. Drop the cigarettes and pick up some weights. Become beautiful inside and out.