Even in the Most Polluted Cities, You Can Exercise Outdoors (A Little): Smithsonian.com

Screen Shot 2016-06-06 at 3.00.44 PM.png“A new model finds that the health benefits of outdoor exercise can outweigh the hazards of air pollution.

“Delhi is one of the most polluted cities in the world, and Souvik Das Gupta, a long-time resident of the Indian city, can attest to that. He’s asthmatic, and so, certain times of the year — especially April through June, when pollen levels are high and dust storms are common — are especially hard on his lungs.

 “But the poor air quality hasn’t kept Das Gupta from running in the mornings for the past few years. “Perhaps this is psychological, but I associate morning air to freshness,” Das Gupta says. “The fact that there are fewer cars on the roads trumps the fact that the air may be worse in quality.” Even so, air pollution can do some serious damage to a person’s health. In the short term, individuals can feel dizzy or breathless, while long-term exposure can lead to lung cancer, heart attacks and other cardiovascular diseases. A few years ago, researchers found that cyclists in Ottawa experienced heart irregularities shortly after biking in traffic — causing many to wonder, yet again, if exercising in the company of car emissions, dust and smoke is really worth it.

“It is, finds a new study, which for the first time, looked at some of the world’s most polluted cities and examined whether the health benefits of outdoor exercise — such as reduced risk of disease, heart conditions and several cancers combined with improved fitness and flexibility — still outweighed the risks of air pollution….” Smithsonian.com. Read the full article on delhiair.org.

Even in the Most Polluted Cities, You Can Exercise Outdoors (A Little)

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