BBC News Reports on How Air Pollution Raises Health Concerns But Exercise Could Be The Answer
“The health benefits of cycling and walking outweigh the harmful effects of air pollution, a study has suggested.
Air pollution contributes to 40,000 early deaths each year in the UK and we gulp in more of it when we exercise.
On the other hand, regular exercise reduces the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and several cancers.
The University of Cambridge study showed that even in cities with high pollution levels, the benefits outweigh the risks.”
This is a real issue for today’s modern society. As a Personal Trainer born and raised in a busy and heavy polluted city of London, I understand the complications that air pollution has on the human health.
If life wasn’t hard as it is already. We currently worry about certain aspects of our lives that effects our health such as disease/viruses, consuming bad foods, alcohol and smoking.
Now we need to worry about the impacts that air pollution has on us. It can harm us immensely and in the long run can lead to death.
Air pollution alone has caused premature deaths of over 3 million people world wide. To put this in perspective air pollution kills more people than HIV/Aids and Malaria studies have shown.
Government and Politicians in power need to react and control air pollution as it is getting out of hand. By 2050 the number of death caused by air pollution will double.
Exercise Outweigh Harms of Air Pollution
At this moment in time there isn’t much we can do to avoid air pollution if we live in big cities but what you can do as an individual is to exercise regularly.
Exercise as we all know it helps reduce cardiovascular diseases, reduces blood pressure and strengthen bones. Exercise outweigh harms of air pollution causes to our body.
An important fact to be well aware of is by exercising in conditions of high pollution you are actually engulfing more pollution into your lungs. For example running and cycling in the city means you are taking in more pollution.
At first glance this sounds very alarming but studies have showed that you would have to be exposed to pollution for very long periods to inherit the bad effects of pollution.
Studies say that you would have to exercise (run/cycle) in the city for 6 hours a day to receive the detrimental effect from air pollution. This translates to about 16 hours a day of walking to effect you.
Exercise Defeats Air Pollution
Air pollution is an ongoing concern but do not let it put you off exercising in your city. If you tend to run around your block and you live in the heart of the city where pollution is at its highest then try not to go over 5 hours of exercise a day.
In terms of walking to and from work, you are in a perfect safe zone from pollution. If your job involves being outside for the entire day then you may be effected in the long term. Be weary of the time you spend outside and if possible avoid on your lunch breaks for example.
Exercise enthusiast and runners do not let air pollution scare you. If you are really concerned about air pollution then join a gym and do your workouts in an environment less exposed to high levels of pollution.
Another incredible way to gain health benefits from cardiovascular training is to make your workouts short and intense.
Instead of long duration of jogging throughout the day and weeks train smart instead. You can do this by keeping your cardio workout short and by increasing intensity. 20-45 minutes is sufficient.
Interval training can be implemented. For example you jog for 2 minutes and then sprint for 1 minute. Alternate from a slow jog to fast pace run.
This actually improves fitness more effectively and you don’t have to spend hours outside exposing yourself to harsh air pollution.