Nothing beats the feeling of working out in the open air, enjoying the sunshine and the breeze. But what if the breeze is carrying more than just oxygen? What if it is loaded with pollutants that can damage your lungs, heart, and brain? Do you still lace up your shoes and hit the road, or do you stay inside and miss your exercise? The answer is not easy. It depends on many things, such as how bad the air is, how healthy you are, how long and hard you exercise, and what other options you have. In this blog post, we will reveal the secrets of how air pollution affects your body when you exercise outdoors, and give you some advice on how to avoid the dangers of dirty air.

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What Causes Poor Air Quality?

Air pollution, the main culprit of bad air quality, is a complex beast. It consists of a variety of harmful substances that come from both human and natural activities. Many factors can make the air dirty, for instance;

what causes poor air quality
  • Manufacturing and energy sector emissions
  • Gases emitted from volcanic eruptions 
  • Gases produced by soil’s organic matter decaying, such as methane
  • When natural gas and fuel oils are utilized to heat dwellings.
  • Chemicals’ production-related vapors
  • Forest fire smoke
  • Pollutants emitted by vehicles

Additionally, there are a variety of unhealthy components in air pollution, including;

  • Sulfates, nitrates, and carbon-based compounds
  • mineral dust or fine particulates
  • Atmospheric ozone
  • Noxious gases
  • Aromatic hydrocarbons that are polycyclic
  • Oxides of sulfur
  • several types of carbon
  • vaporized organic substances

What Are The Health Effects Of Poor Air Quality?

what are the health effects of poor air quality

In the short run, you might not notice any significant health issues but if we speak about the long term, you better brace yourself for some significant incoming health emergency. 

When you breathe in bad-quality air, you may experience symptoms such as coughing, gasping, and wheezing. These are signs that your lungs are irritated by the pollutants. If you are exposed to air pollution for a long time, you may develop serious health problems. Some of them are…

  • Elevated risks of lung disease 
  • Chronic conditions like COPD, asthma, or even emphysema
  • Severs bronchitis 
  • Downgraded blood vessel performance
  • Elevated risk of stroke 
  • Hypertensive conditions
  • A higher chance of developing cancer, particularly lung and breast cancer

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Do I Need To Consider The Air Quality In Which I Exercise?

When you exercise, your lungs work harder to pump more air into your body. But what if the air is full of harmful substances that can damage your health? You may end up inhaling more toxins than oxygen. 

do i need to consider the air quality in which i exercise

So whenever you get engaged in physical activity like body exercises the oxygen inhaled from the nose doesn’t seems enough. That’s why we often open our mouths wide enough to gulp down the air. Your mouth lacks filters to keep out the big airborne contaminants, in contrast to your nose. They are quite prone to entering your lungs and causing problems. 

Additionally, the smaller ones might penetrate your lungs even farther and reach their most vulnerable areas. You become more vulnerable to these risks when you exercise in filthy air. Despite your best intentions, your actions are really damaging your body. So yes, it definitely matters the quality in which you exercise. But still air quality and exercise outdoors are both important factors for your health and well-being.

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Can A Walk Outside Be Considered Exercise?

Yes, walking outdoors is also considered exercise. But if you are concerned about the air quality in which you are doing walking exercises then yes, you are worried about the right thing. 

But again it depends upon the intensity and speed of your walking. If you slow walking you might not need to open your mouth to breathe in. However, on the other hand, if you are brisk walking it is advised that you respire via your mouth since it is more effective. Extra oxygen may penetrate into your system and power your muscles when you inhale and exhale via your mouth. But as long as you have a mask on your mouth it can literally save you from inhaling tonnes of micro as well as macro pollutants.

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It’s important that you exercise outside at least thrice a week according to health experts. In fact, we persist to you exercise in the outside environment near to nature because exercising outdoors benefits you in many ways. But to make the outdoor pollutant and look out for our environment is in our hands. So let’s make a pact and cut out the things that make our lives and environment unhealthy and miserable. 

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