Those looking to define themselves by making healthy lifestyle choices while still smoking are undeniably counteracting their healthy diet and exercise routines. There are no risk-free levels of tobacco use.
Despite the fact that cigarette smoking has been linked to a host of severe and often fatal health complications, there are those who still believe that their smoking habit will not affect their ability to live a healthy lifestyle. A healthy diet, regular exercise, and seeing a doctor regularly are all ingredients for living healthfully. Can tobacco use still be a part of this lifestyle, without the high risks of complications?
Healthy Habits While Smoking
Those who eat a good diet and workout regularly are certainly better off than smokers who eat nothing but junk food and are sedentary. Barring certain health complications, there are few reasons one should avoid such healthy lifestyle choices. But even eating the best diet won’t totally compensate for tobacco use. Making healthier choices may slow down or reduce smoking’s health effects, but they can’t eliminate the dangers of smoking entirely. There is no healthy level of tobacco use, according to the Surgeon General.
Smoking’s Health Consequences
Smoking causes a myriad of health issues, even in those who otherwise live a healthy lifestyle. Lung cancer is the most well-known complication of smoking, since it is caused primarily by tobacco use. The vast majority of people who get lung cancer are smokers, and many of the non-smokers who acquire the disease live with smokers or are frequently around them.
There are many other, non-cancer diseases related to smoking, however. Cardiovascular disease is caused by tobacco use, as well as stroke. This is often due to the decreased oxygen intake and lowered blood flow related to smoking. While working out and avoiding heart-harming foods will slow down the process or degeneration (Or rather, doing these things won’t speed up the process even more), they don’t make up for the thousands of toxins entering the body every time the smoker takes a puff.
Reduced Athletic Performance
Smoking also decreases the amount of exercise one can do. Decreased oxygen intake and lowered blood flow hinders athletic performance and reduces the amount of muscle mass one can attain. Smokers are more likely to become winded during exercise, are more likely to be injured, and they often require more time between exercises to recover. They may also take longer to heal from injuries. Over, time, these issues may prevent smokers from being able to exercise at all, resulting in a less active lifestyle. Sedentary people are also at an increased risk of health problems, multiplying the potential for issues.
According to Be Tobacco Free, smoking may reduce vision, increase the chances for bone related disorders, and may be linked to autoimmune disease. All of these things hinder one’s ability to lead an active, healthy lifestyle.
The Only Safe Cigarette is no Cigarette
The only way to truly lead a healthy lifestyle is to avoid tobacco products entirely. There is no amount of smoke that is deemed safe by any health organization. This includes second and third-hand smoke, so those who don’t smoke should avoid smokers as well. There are numerous tools available to help one quit, so for those who find overcoming the habit too difficult, hope is available.
Nicotine replacement therapies have become more effective, especially in the case of electronic cigarettes. This method has become increasingly popular due to the overwhelming statistical evidence demonstrating e-cigarette’s ability to negate the symptoms of nicotine withdrawal. Also available, are patches, gums, lozenges, inhalers, nasal sprays, and a myriad of medications. Research into these methods will help to find which method works best for you.