Exercise in the City

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Exercise in the City

Postby Canuck Singh » Sat Oct 04, 2008 5:21 am

Exercise in the city is becoming a health hazard.

If you live in the city and exercise outdoors, don’t worry about being hit by a bus; concern yourself more with the hazards of exercising along side one. Environmental scientists caution that all the exhaust and smoke from traffic can cause extensive damage to a person's health.

Dr. Joseph Cooke, Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine and Patient Safety Officer at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, says that air pollution is definitely a problem for those that exercise in the city.

The main culprits are fine particles which are emitted by the diesel engines of trucks and buses, but also, the two most significant environmental culprits are carbon monoxide and ozone that are emitted from all automobiles.

Ozone is a large component of the smog found in cities like Los Angeles and New York. It is a result of an interaction of sunlight and the chemicals emitted from car exhausts. Ozone adversely affects a person's breathing pattern and causes the airways in the lungs to become smaller and more resistant to oxygen exchange. Because of ozone, a person working out has difficulty taking deep breaths, and has to breathe faster. As a result, the exercise becomes more stressful and difficult.

Carbon monoxide has a tremendous ability to force oxygen out of our circulatory system. It combines with hemoglobin 200 times faster than oxygen. Overexposure may lead to headache, dizziness, confusion, and dangerous increases in body temperature.

Epidemiologic studies have linked air pollutants to harmful effects on the heart and lungs, to emergency hospital admissions, and to deaths. Pollutants affect the lungs by causing inflammation or irritation of the airway lining. More mucus and phlegm is produced and small muscles surrounding the airway respond by spasm and shrinking the airway passage. This all adds up to greater free radical damage to cells in the body and greater difficulty in getting oxygen to working muscles.

Dr. Cooke offers these simple tips for people that live and exercise in the city.

1. Firstly, don’t jog on or near roads where there is heavy traffic.

2. Secondly, workout in the early morning or later in the evening when there is less air pollution. Alternatively, exercise indoors in a facility with air-conditioning.


* In a recent report on television it was shown that those who run on the sidewalk next to the traffic will have 10 fold greater exposure than those who ran just 5m away from the curb. So even if you are limited to the curb, stay as far away from the traffic that you can.

Source: NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital ()
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Re: Exercise in the City

Postby Canuck Singh » Sat Oct 25, 2008 8:51 pm

Exercising outdoors in the city is hazardous to your health.

Individuals that exercise to improve their health may actually be doing more harm than good.

A recent report has identified the following culprits; ozone, fine particulate matter and carbon monoxide. Epidemiologic studies have linked these air pollutants to harmful effects on the heart and lungs, emergency hospital admissions, and deaths. These pollutants affect the lungs by causing inflammation and spasm of the airway lining.

A major contributor are diesel engines in trucks and buses and automobile exhausts. These vehicles emit the two most significant environmental culprits, carbon monoxide and ozone. Carbon monoxide has a tremendous ability to force oxygen out of our circulatory system, it combines with hemoglobin 200 times faster than oxygen. Symptoms to overexposure are headache, dizziness, confusion, and dangerous increases in body temperature.

Ozone, which is a large component of the smog found in cities like Los Angeles and New York, results from the interaction of sunlight and chemicals found in car exhaust. Ozone adversely affects a person's breathing pattern and causes the airways in the lungs to become smaller and more resistant to oxygen exchange.

Simple strategies to avoid the detrimental effects of exercising outdoors in a large city include;

# Not exercising on or near roads where traffic is heavy.

# Workout in the early morning or later in the evening.

# Exercise indoors if possible.
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