I’m dubious about the yoga bit. I could definitely see it helping with your flexibility but stress and worrying and all that stuff has little to do with how efficiently your body pumps oxygen into your bloodstream. But, I have no yogic experience, so I can’t say first hand that this guy is nuts.
Drinking and smoking aint gonna help but it’s not main driver in the regression of your performance. Until rather recently professional atheltes smoked and drank all the time. They key drivers of your performance are:
Genetics - nothing you can do about this
Training - plenty you can do about this
Mental - how hard will you push yourself (Here Mr. Yoga Yogi might have something to add)
The combination of these three things really decides what you can do. Gentics will take you far, but only so far without training. Without mental, you won’t train hard nor will you push through the weakness when you test yourself.
7-8 years of smoking likely did you no permanent harm. It takes several decades for that to really happen. My brother, who is an oncologist, told me that he hasn’t known anyone to get lung cancer who didn’t smoke for at least 20-25 years - your body is suprisingly resilliant when you are young, which is good, cause we all do some dumb shit.
So, don’t let being an ex-smoker be your excuse. It’s great that you quit and will help, but like I said, there are plenty of elite marathon runners that do smoke. They have 1) genetics and 2) training on their sides. 3) mental
— Important Stuff If we’re gonna be able to help you
- What’s your somatype? Everyone tends fall into the spectrum naturall somwhere. This is genetic. I’m Endo-Mesomorphic, myself.
Endomorphs - are natural born fatties. However, they are also usually very strong and not prone at all to injury. When they are in shape they can succeed in many aspects of sports while still looking somewhat thick and fat. Think Olympic weight lifters, NFL linemen, and sumo wrestlers. These guys are all endomorphs and in very good shape. If you are one of these then you will have a hard time being an elite distance runner. That is a genetic limitation. Endomorphs can grow muscle and fat very effectively, which is why if they don’t exercise and watch their diets they get fat.
Mesomorphs - make great all around atletes. They are lean and muscular. Think Mike Tyson during his glory years. These guys make great body builders as they have a good ability to grow muscle without getting fat.
Ectomorphs - are the skinny guys that can’t put on weight no matter what. They can be tall an awkward. The guy who is 6 foot 2 but only ways 150 pounds. These guys can’t grow muscle nor gain fat worth a damn. They can however frequently run and jump well.
And you can be a combination of two types as well. It’s a spectrum like I said. I’m endo-mesomorphic naturally, although due to training if you look at me in the mirror I look mesomorphic. There are still give aways that I can’t hide, a naturally rounder face, wide hips. Trademarks of my endoness.
- What’s your BMI? Give us your stats. (BMI is a decent indicator but not perfect especially for certain outlier type people)
I’m 177 lbs (80 kg)
6 feet tall
My BMI is a 23.5 which puts me at the upper end of the healthy range. I’m naturally endo-mesomorphic (so heavy, muscular with, thick boned, wide frame, big ribs, thick torso and prone to getting fat if I’m not religious about my fitness regime). I’ll never be an elite distance runner, but I’m good at most contact sports and over shorter distances.
My hip waste ratio is a .47. Anything below .50 is considered healthy for guys our age.
- Have you lived an active lifestyle? I’ve played sports my whole life. My culture believes strongly in them. Coming from India, my understanding is that cardio is generally looked down upon as being what the poor people do. Hence the popularity of Cricket vs. Football. Also, it’s fucking hot here, I get it. Who wants to move around a lot if you can help it.
If you haven’t lived an active lifestyle then you need to work that much longer and harder. If you spent the first 30 years of your life not really doing any serious exercise than that did much more damage than your 7-8 years of smoking. Those Kenyans that kick ass in the marathon run 20ks everyday their whole life just to get to school or to a source of water and food. No wonder they are superior and not just genetically.