We have all have habits. Some habits are good while the rest others are bad for our health. Here are two such contradictory habits: smoking and workout. While working out is a good habit and it is essential to lead a healthy lifestyle, smoking is one of the worst habits that can negatively impact your good habit of working out. 

We all know that smoking has ill-effects on health and the people who work out should refrain from smoking if they want to lead a healthy lifestyle. But believe it or not, there are many people out there who work out every day yet they smoke. In this article, we will touch upon various points including how does smoking directly affects work out, is it bad to smoke after working out, does smoking after a workout affects muscle growth, etc.

First, we’ll talk about how does smoking affects workouts. 

The nicotine and carbon monoxide from smoking can make your blood sticky and interfere with your cardiovascular system’s ability to function properly. Nicotine causes your blood vessels to constrict or narrow, limiting the amounting of blood flow that flows to your heart, muscles, and other body organs, making the exercise harder. During exercise, blood flow helps increase the supply of oxygen to your muscles. If your muscles don't get enough oxygen, your body can't function as well. 

Smoking increases your resting heart rate, which is the number of times your heart beats per minute when you're not active. When you smoke, that number is increased because of the extra work your heart has to do to keep your body going. Your heart rate may rise to dangerous levels while working out, which may be a sign of a heart problem ahead.

Now that we know how smoking affects workouts, let’s understand how smoking after a workout affects muscle growth. 

Smoking is not just bad for your lungs, but according to the new research, the components of cigarette smoke directly damage your muscles. As per the Journal of Physiology, cigarette smoke decreases the number of small blood vessels that bring oxygen and nutrients to muscles in the legs. 

It is a well-known fact that smoking limits a person’s ability to exercise because it makes their muscle weaker. Earlier, it was believed this muscle weakness is because the lungs become inflamed and eventually destroyed by habitual smoking, thereby limiting physical activity and exercise. However, the findings of this new study suggest that cigarette smoke directly damages muscles by reducing the number of blood vessels in leg muscles. Smoking impairs the protein synthesis process, probably impairing the day-to-day upkeep of muscle. Hence, even if you have a disciplined diet coupled with exercise and a good supplement, if you continue to smoke, it would be difficult to get the desired results.

But, we all know quitting smoking is a slow process. It may take some months until you quit smoking completely. So, if you want to smoke yet make the best of your workout routine. Here are a couple of things to follow. 

Many people often wonder how long should I wait to smoke after working out, is it bad to smoke after working out or can I smoke after gym directly. To solve this and many more queries related to smoking, keep reading further. 

After a workout session, the body needs as much oxygen as possible to heal, which is why your heart rate goes up and your breathing quickens, however, the minute you smoke, it triggers swelling of the mucus membranes, which restricts the oxygen capacity. So, to answer how long you should wait to smoke after a workout is best to wait for a couple of hours. Besides, a workout can help curb your cravings for a cigarette, so you can delay smoking for some period, maybe even for a day. So, the next time you hit the gym, try to avoid smoking for as long as possible. Even though you might fall victim to smoking after the gym, you should be able to fight the temptation for longer each time. 

To sum it up, smoking and work out cannot go hand in hand. If you want to achieve the maximum results from your workout, then you should consider quitting smoking.

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