It seems totally counterintuitive: just as the sun comes out and the temperatures rise, the experts tell us to exercise indoors.
Dr. Ronald Crystal, chief of pulmonary and critical care medicine at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, says outdoor pollutants such as ozone, fine particulate matter, and carbon monoxide from car exhaust and cigarettes can irritate the lungs and respiratory system of cyclists, runners and skaters.
If you already have or are at risk for asthma, bronchitis, emphysema or heart problems, that means trouble, according to the report on ScienceDaily. Crystal recommends that those at risk exercise indoors, preferably in an air-conditioned room.
If you must go outdoors, the early morning or evening—when ozone levels are at their lowest—are better.
Earlier this week, preliminary research from the Harvard School of Public Health also linked air pollution to an increased likelihood of deep vein thrombosis, or blood clots in the legs or thighs.
Personally, I like to walk to work through the city some mornings, and I’ll continue to do so. Hopefully the sunshine and my elevated mood will make up for the smog. But I don’t suffer from asthma, so that’s easy for me to say.
What about you? Does smog make your workouts tougher?