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These Crowded (and Polluted) Streets

Does your morning jog take you straight through Times Square, down the Pacific Coast Highway, on the Miracle Mile or along A1A (beach front avenue)?

For those of us who choose to exercise outdoors in major cities, you should know that air pollution can irritate your lungs, making it harder to breathe while working out outside.

The three main components of air pollution are fine particulate matter, ozone and carbon monoxide. For those of us exercising, the overexposure to carbon monoxide can lead to symptoms such as dizziness, confusion, headaches and dangerously high body temperatures. Ozone, which is the main reason we have smog in cities, adversely affects breathing patterns and decreases the size of airways, making the lungs more resistant to oxygen.

What's more? Turns out that living on a major street is pretty bad for your lungs too. Great.

Fit's Tip: Work out in the early morning or later in the evening, when the traffic is not as congested. If you experience difficulty breathing while exercising, you should see a doctor.

Join The Conversation
Butrfly4404 Butrfly4404 10 years
I wonder if the fact that I walk pretty much alongside the freeway at lunch (higher up, on service road) negates any good things that come from my walk. I have asthma and it doesn't bother me TOO bad.
Beaner Beaner 10 years
rubialala - that is really weird. I wonder why it stays in your lungs? I stick to the bike path and parks - no cars means less polution.
rubialala rubialala 10 years
I live in the Central Valley in California and it is like impossible to exercise outside, but I think it's mostly from natural allergens, not pollution. I read or heard somewhere that if someone has lived in the Central Valley/San Joaquin Valley for a specific length of time (i.e., six months) or longer that when they die, autopsies reveal something in the lungs that is only found here. There was some guy in New York who died and when they did the autopsy, they new he had lived here before. Weird, right?
DStirk DStirk 10 years
interestingly enough, i lived in cities for the past 5 years and i have bad asthma now... i wonder if it is related. I bet it is.
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