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Exercises and China's air pollution

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An eight-year-old girl becomes China's 'youngest' lung-cancer patient as Jiangsu's doctors blame high levels of air pollution is responsible for her condition. Let us get expert's opinion to deal with this when we are in China.

While aerobic activity is one of the keys to a healthy lifestyle, air pollution and exercise can be an unhealthy combination. This is especially true if you have asthma, diabetes, heart or lung conditions, or lower respiratory disease.

Health problems that air pollution is associated with include: Damage to airways of the lungs, increased risk of asthma development, worsening of existing asthma, increased risk of heart attacks and strokes, increased risk of death from lung cancer and cardiovascular disease.

Even when you're not exercising, exposure to air pollution can cause health problems. But with the combination of air pollution and exercise, the potential health problems are increased. For one thing, during aerobic activity you typically inhale more air, and you breathe it more deeply into your lungs. And because you're likely to breathe mostly through your mouth during exercise, the air you breathe in generally bypasses your nasal passages, which normally filter airborne pollution particles.

What's not clear with air pollution and exercise is how much exposure is a danger, or how long you have to be exposed. And because exercise has clear health benefits, don't give up on exercise entirely, unless your doctor has instructed you to. Instead, focus on ways to minimize the risks of the air pollution and exercise combination.

To limit the effects of air pollution and exercise:

Monitor air pollution levels. Most communities have a system for air pollution alerts. Contact your local or state air pollution control agency, the Environmental Protection Agency, a local hospital or your doctor for information. Local radio and television stations and newspapers also often report on air quality.

Time your workouts carefully. Avoid outdoor physical activity or reduce the intensity and duration of your outdoor exercise when an air quality alert has been issued. Also avoid outdoor activity when pollution levels tend to be highest, which is often midday or afternoon. Exercising during rush hour also can expose you to higher amounts of pollution.

Avoid high-pollution areas. Pollution levels are likely to be highest within 50 feet (15 meters) of a road. Urban environments and outdoor smoking areas also have higher pollution levels. If possible, avoid these kinds of areas when exercising.

Exercise indoors. Vary your routine with occasional indoor activities, especially on poor air quality days. Take a fitness class, check out a local gym or run laps on an indoor track.



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Everybody knows benefits from exercises including bicycling, running and doing other exercise. But if you do this under the air pollution, you may get a trouble to breathe more polluted air into your lungs. Anyone interested in better health and exercise should check out this story  in the Globe and Mail, a nationally distributed Canadian newspaper based in Toronto. It describes research that shows how exercise offsets the health hazards of breathing polluted ai.

The conventional wisdom has been to exercise when pollution levels are lower, such as early morning.

But what if you work up a sweat during peak pollution times?  Research that suggests you could be better off exercising even when the air is bad.

Air pollution sets the stage for disease by inflaming and injuring our cells. ”Exercise itself has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties” that  fight effects of the polluted air, Hutchinson writes.

“If you find yourself biking down a busy street and wondering whether you should stop, don’t panic,” he says. “The best option of all, it turns out, may be to pedal even harder.

 

even when the air is polluted.

 

A bicyclist rides on the streets of Los Angeles in this 2010 AP file photo. Research is showing benefits from bicycling, running and doing other exercise even when the air is polluted.

A bicyclist rides on the streets of Los Angeles in this 2010 photo. Research is showing benefits from bicycling, running and other exercise even when the air is polluted. (AP)

Anyone  interested in better health and exercise should check out this story  in the Globe and Mail, a nationally distributed Canadian newspaper based in Toronto.

It describes research that shows how exercise offsets the health hazards of breathing polluted air – a serious problem in Inland Southern California.
Runners participating in Riverside's Mission Inn Run (File/2009)

Runners participating in Riverside’s Mission Inn Run (2009/file photo)

The conventional wisdom has been to exercise when pollution levels are lower, such as early morning.

But what if you work up a sweat during peak pollution times?  Globe and Mail reporter Alex Hutchinson cites research that suggests you could be better off exercising even when the air is bad.

Air pollution sets the stage for disease by inflaming and injuring our cells. ”Exercise itself has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties” that  fight effects of the polluted air, Hutchinson writes.

“If you find yourself biking down a busy street and wondering whether you should stop, don’t panic,” he says. “The best option of all, it turns out, may be to pedal even harder.