Runners, Bikers, Joggers Beware of Air Pollution

Not the place to exercise - photo by D. Hennessey

We all want to be fit and healthy as part of our personal development. So some of us run, jog or bike each day to keep our aerobic activity up to par but did you know running, jogging or biking in a congested area can hurt you?

Dr. Edward Laskowski writes on the renowned MayoClinic Health site that you can experience negative health effects if you regularly exercise in areas with air pollution.

Dr. Laskowski reminds us that when are involved in low intensity activity you can be breathing in ten times more air than when you are at rest and since you are more likely to be breathing through your mouth your body may not be filtering pollutants that can really hurt your lungs.

For example, exposure to air pollution can damage the small airways of your lungs and increase the possibility of heart attacks and lung cancer.

Today you may see many people running, jogging or biking by the roads but clearly these are not healthy exercise locations. I knew being active in a congested area was not a good idea but I did not know the kind of health issues it can cause. I recommend you follow the link and read the article and then share the article with active friends who run, jog or bike. Here is the link to the MayoClinic article

Best of Health to you,


By the way, below are the references for the above article

Mittleman MA. Air pollution, exercise and cardiovascular risk. The New England Journal of Medicine. 2007;357:1147.

Sharman JE. Clinicians prescribing exercise: Is air pollution a hazard? Medical Journal of Australia. 2005;182:606.

Campbell ME, et al. Should people be physically active outdoors on smog alert days? Canadian Journal of Public Health. 2005;96:24.

Air pollution and exercise. American Lung Association. Accessed Feb. 20, 2009.

Facts about particle pollution. American Lung Association. Accessed Feb. 20, 2009.

These references are located behind a link just below the bottom of the page beneath the article on the MayoClinic site