Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Exercising In The City? Don't Get Exhaust-ed; Take It Inside

Date:
May 14, 2008
Source:
NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital
Summary:
As environmentalists have pointed out, it can be as dangerous to be outdoors behind a city bus -- walking or bicycling -- as it is to be in front of one. All the exhaust and smoke -- even when they have been reduced by clean-air technology -- can damage a person's health. The dangers of urban air pollution are of special concern to those who exercise by running, bicycling or skating. These individuals, while trying to help their bodies through exercise, should take care that they do not harm themselves through exposure to air pollution.

As environmentalists have pointed out, it can be as dangerous to be outdoors behind a city bus -- walking or bicycling -- as it is to be in front of one. All the exhaust and smoke -- even when they have been reduced by clean-air technology -- can damage a person's health. The dangers of urban air pollution are of special concern to those who exercise by running, bicycling or skating. These individuals, while trying to help their bodies through exercise, should take care that they do not harm themselves through exposure to air pollution.

Dr. Ronald Crystal, chief of pulmonary and critical care medicine at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, says that air pollution is definitely a problem for those who work out in the city. The main culprits are ozone, fine particulate matter, and carbon monoxide, he says. These pollutants irritate the lungs and respiratory system, and can exacerbate the problems of individuals with underlying disease -- such as asthma, bronchitis, emphysema or cardiopulmonary maladies.

If you have heart or lung disease, Dr. Crystal says, in summer, you should, if possible, exercise indoors, preferably in an air-conditioned room. If you must go outdoors, the early morning or evening is best. It will be cooler, the sun is not at its peak, and the ozone levels will be at their lowest.

Dr. Crystal says that epidemiologic studies have linked air pollutants to harmful effects on the heart and lungs, to emergency hospital admissions, and to deaths. The pollutants affect the lungs by causing inflammation or irritation of the airway lining. More mucus and phlegm is produced, he says, and small muscles surrounding the airway respond by squeezing down. The work of breathing increases and it becomes more difficult to get oxygen into the body.

In addition to fine particulates -- which are emitted by the diesel engines of trucks and buses -- the two most significant environmental culprits are carbon monoxide and ozone, Dr. Crystal says. Carbon monoxide arises from cigarette smoke and automobile exhaust. It 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.

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. 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.

Dr. Crystal offers these simple tips:

  • Do not run on or near roads where there is heavy truck or bus traffic.
  • Work out in the early morning or later in the evening.
  • Exercise indoors if possible.
  • If you experience any difficulty breathing, stop your exercise immediately and see your doctor.

By taking a few simple precautions, Dr. Crystal says, you can make your exercise a wholly good thing, and keep air pollution out of your body.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital. "Exercising In The City? Don't Get Exhaust-ed; Take It Inside." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 May 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080512150141.htm>.
NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital. (2008, May 14). Exercising In The City? Don't Get Exhaust-ed; Take It Inside. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080512150141.htm
NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital. "Exercising In The City? Don't Get Exhaust-ed; Take It Inside." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080512150141.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

TheStreet (July 21, 2014) New research shows Gilead Science's drug Sovaldi helps in curing hepatitis C in those who suffer from HIV. In a medical study, the combination of Gilead's Hep C drug with anti-viral drug Ribavirin cured 76% of HIV-positive patients suffering from the most common hepatitis C strain. Hepatitis C and related complications have been a top cause of death in HIV-positive patients. Typical medication used to treat the disease, including interferon proteins, tended to react badly with HIV drugs. However, Sovaldi's %1,000-a-pill price tag could limit the number of patients able to access the treatment. TheStreet's Keris Lahiff reports from New York. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com
$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

Newsy (July 20, 2014) Cynthia Robinson claims R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company hid the health and addiction risks of its products, leading to the death of her husband in 1996. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tooth Plaque Provides Insight Into Diets Of Ancient People

Tooth Plaque Provides Insight Into Diets Of Ancient People

Newsy (July 19, 2014) Research on plaque from ancient teeth shows that our prehistoric ancestor's had a detailed understanding of plants long before developing agriculture. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Contaminated Water Kills 3 Babies in South African Town

Contaminated Water Kills 3 Babies in South African Town

AFP (July 18, 2014) Contaminated water in South Africa's northwestern town of Bloemhof kills three babies and hospitalises over 500 people. The incident highlights growing fears over water safety in South Africa. Duration: 02:22 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins