According to the Cleveland Clinic, smokers experience less endurance, poorer physical performance and increased injuries and complications. Smoking causes both short- and long-term effects on physical performance.
To achieve peak physical condition, according to Cleveland Clinic, a person's heart, lungs and muscles need oxygen-rich blood. The harmful chemicals in tobacco smoke bind to red blood cells and displace oxygen, causing an increase in lactic acid, muscle fatigue, heavy breathing and soreness. This decreases physical endurance, which negatively effects not only performance in sports but everyday activities, such as walking up stairs. A smoker's resting heart rate is higher than a non-smoker's because the heart must work harder to deliver oxygen to the rest of the body. Physical endurance studies show that smokers obtain less benefit from physical training, have less muscle strength and flexibility, and experience shortness of breath. Smokers are also twice as likely to suffer an injury and require more time to heal after an injury. Smoking among young adults can stunt muscle growth and lung development, which also negatively affect physical performance. Smoking causes not only poor physical performance but also poor overall health. Fortunately however, many effects of smoking can be reversed after a person quits.