Whether you practise kickboxing for recreation, fitness, or a living, you need to be in top shape. Smoking has an impact on your endurance as well as your likelihood of living a healthy and lengthy life. If you are a regular smoker and want to succeed in the field of kickboxing, kicking the addiction should be your first goal.
According to a study conducted in 2014, kickboxing for one hour three times a week increases the maximum oxygen uptake, and thus your cardiovascular endurance. Kickboxing can improve your health, but smoking on the side can counteract the beneficial effects of this combat sport. You should be proud of a successful kickboxing smoker and not of being a kickboxing smoker.
Kickboxing needs a high level of physical fitness, strength, endurance, commitment, and self-control. Most people don’t assume that kickboxers would smoke because it doesn’t seem to mesh with the whole scene. Smoking can have a significant impact on kickboxers and their overall performance.
How Smoking Affects Kickboxers
Negatively affects weight management
Because smoking suppresses hunger, it has been linked to weight loss. To compete well, kickboxers must keep a healthy weight. Smoking can lead to low energy levels and muscle loss as it interferes with nutrition and calorie intake.
Reduces Cardiovascular Endurance
Smoking impairs lung function and decreases overall cardiovascular endurance. Kickboxing requires high levels of aerobic capacity. Smoking can limit the ability of kickboxers to indulge in high-intensity workouts or fights. The reduced lung capacity can lead to quicker fatigue, decreased stamina, and compromised performance. Smoking also puts you at a higher risk of cardiovascular disease.
Increases the Risk of Respiratory Issues
By damaging the respiratory system, smoking increases the risk of respiratory issues such as chronic cough, bronchitis, and asthma. These conditions can affect a kickboxer’s breathing, lung capacity, and overall performance.
Slows Down Recovery and Healing
Smoking obstructs the body’s natural healing process. Kickboxing training can lead to injuries as it often involves high-intensity workouts and physical contact. By restricting blood flow, impairing tissue repair, and increasing the risk of infection, smoking delays healing. This can result in longer recovery periods, which may affect training consistency and overall progress.
Impairs Focus and Mental Performance
The addictive substance in cigarettes is nicotine. It affects the central nervous system and can disrupt cognitive function. Kickboxing requires quick reflexes, strong focus, and strategic thinking. Smoking can negatively impact these cognitive abilities.
Increases the Risk of Injuries
Smoking makes kickboxers more prone to injuries as it weakens bones and connective tissues. Kickboxing involves various movements and high-impact strikes and compromised bone health can increase the risk of injuries, hinder training progress, and limit a kickboxer’s potential.
Steps for a Better Future
Although quitting smoking is the first step, you will need to regain your strength, improve your performance and make the best of your potential. Exercising can help bring your fitness back on track. Here’s a list of some recommended exercises:
- Biking: Biking can help curb cigarette cravings. When you undertake biking outdoors, your lungs will continually receive more fresh oxygen. Cycling can improve the functioning of your respiratory system and increase the capacity of your lungs.
- Strength training: Strength training can help you better manage your weight and counteract the effects of smoking. You can develop your physique and maximize muscular strength through it. Some strength training exercises like stiff leg deadlifts are more beneficial for kickboxers.
- Swimming: Swimming is a gentle form of exercise that can relieve withdrawal symptoms and condition your lungs. Through swimming you can also boost your muscle strength, immunity, and mental health. All of these positive effects will reflect in your kickboxing performance.
- Breathing exercises: Do not underestimate the power of simple breathing exercises. With exercises like pursed lip breathing and diaphragmatic breathing, you can boost the health of your lungs.
It is important to keep in mind that all is not lost even if you have been a chain smoker in the past or until now. You can still get rid of the cigarette addiction. The human body has remarkable healing abilities. By quitting smoking, adhering to a nutritious diet, and doing targeted exercises, you can still enhance your cardiovascular endurance, lung capacity, recovery rate, and overall performance. Additionally, quitting smoking can reduce the risk of the various health conditions associated with smoking and improve your overall well-being.