To Smoke or to Run

There are many pleasures in life for people to enjoy, although it is easier to only see the empty half of the glass. Well, I don’t personally agree with this, but I do acknowledge it as true. It is also true that people can become vicious, thus focusing on what is both enjoyable and harmful- such as smoking.

Smoking is a tough one. The addiction is, well no different than others and equally hard to give up. Still, if you are on your way of becoming a runner, you should definitely ask yourself “Will I run or will I smoke?” If you are heading to starting the life of a runner, you should know that it all comes down to this: healthy lungs.Doubtlessly, every aspect of a runner’s life is essential and must be carefully taken care of, but at the end of the day it’s your lungs that count. The effects of smoking are multiple and they double when runners are involved. And let me tell you, one cigarette is too many.


Firstly, let’s talk oxygen. One of the primary effects of smoking is that the absorption of the oxygen by the blood becomes highly faulted. The reason is the increased level of carbon monoxide that arrests the release of oxygen into the cells. In time, the parts that require high levels of oxygen, such as the heart or other muscles, start to weaken this way leading to decreased endurance of the body and low performance.

Secondly, smoking determines airway resistance. The lungs gradually start decaying making it very hard for the runner to keep up. It is also true that there are several elite runners that manage to both run and win marathons and smoke at the end. But if they can do it, doesn’t mean that everybody can. They have a serious training history and they managed to adapt smoking to working out. Not to forget though, they are exceptions.

Thirdly, body endurance is seriously affected by smoking. With every cigarette you smoke, the oxygen intake is reduced. Statistically, smoking reduces the oxygen intake with 10% which is very difficult for the body to bear. To these, the lack of energy adds up. Also, the motivation to continue or to take up running is seriously damaged. I should I know, I have been there. And because I am an ex-smoking runner, I am able to point out some suggestions that may help you plead for the healthy way of running.

First, keep in mind to drink many fluids. It is a key suggestion for runners in general, but equally important for those who want to give up smoking. Build up a plan: start training, buy yourself the proper running gear, sign up for a race as soon as possible and above them all do not procrastinate. Procrastination will only make it harder to start running and quit smoking. Also, if you are the writing type, start a blog. Express yourself either way suits you best.

It is not easy to give up vicious habits. But it is essential to live healthily and become a notable runner. And for that, all sacrifices are worth it.

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