By now it’s safe to say that the majority of us are aware of the effects of smoking on our lungs, as well as the increased risks associated to our health such as cancer.
In case you were looking for yet another reason to stop smoking, here’s one for you. A lesser known fact is that smoking also has negative effects on your bones and soft tissues, such as muscles and tendons).
Smoking reduces bone mineral content, causing your bones to become less solid and putting you at greater risk of developing osteoporosis. This increases your changes of suffering a fracture from a fall and hinders your bodies ability to heal these fractures.
Smoking also generally slows the body’s healing process. Smoking has been found to have effects on the creation of collagen, the fibre found at the base of most tissues throughout our body. Our bodies heal from injuries by producing collagen, working as a network to connect broken or damaged tissues. As smoking decreases the body’s ability to produce collagen, the healing process takes a hit.
Not only does smoking make it harder for your body to heal from injuries, it also makes it prone to overuse injuries. As we go through our every day activities, our body will naturally heal itself from daily usage such as our workouts, working on our home renovations, and our long bike rides in the summer. But, an impaired ability to heal ourselves puts the body at risk of becoming damaged over time.
Add to the list that smoking has been shown to negatively affect muscle mass and strength. Essentially, muscles have a harder time maintaining themselves, resulting in decreased muscle strength and mass over time. Tendons, connective strings that attach our muscles to our skeletons, are also negatively affected by smoking. Research has shown that on average, smokers suffer more serious tears when compared to non-smokers and are more likely to develop persistent pain.
With all these reasons in mind, if you’re a smoker or know a smoker, this may be the time to kick the bad habit and help your body be it’s best self!
Check out https://www.ontario.ca/page/support-quit-smoking for more resources on smoking cessation.