This is a guest post from Heather Smith:
When you lace up your shoes to go for a run outside, you probably think of enjoying the scenery, feeling the sun on your face, and breathing in fresh air. You rarely think about the unfortunate reality, which is that you’re actually breathing in air that is quite polluted. And any runner will tell you that you suck in quite a bit of air when you’re out there tackling your daily jaunt. While you can’t entirely avoid air pollution while you’re exercising outdoors, you can minimize your contact with it.
1. Find a trail off the beaten path
Instead of running down side streets by the freeway or paths that have a heavy traffic interaction try to find safe trails in the park that are farther away from automobiles. This will help reduce the exposure you have to the heavily polluted air.
2. Run earlier
If possible, try to time your runs so that they aren’t directly coinciding with morning or evening rush hour where cars are heavily populating the roadways. This way you avoid when the traffic is out in full force and the pollution levels are highest. Plus the earlier in the day you run, the less pollution in the air.
3. Work out indoors
If you can’t avoid working out during the times that pollution is peaking, take your workout indoors. Even though the treadmill might not be the ideal situation for running, you’ll still be able to get in a run and you’ll avoid all of the heavy smog outdoors.
4. Take a day off
Monitor the pollution levels and if it’s exceptionally high one day considering taking a day off from so that you don’t take in all that polluted air. While you may not want to take a day off now, it’s better than having to take off a day later because your lungs have suffered so much from breathing in sub-par air.
As much as everyone loves working out outdoors, there are so many risks and implications that it can be doing more harm than good at times and all because we haven’t done our due diligence in taking care of our air quality. Get involved locally to impact your community in fighting for cleaner air quality – it could help save lives everywhere.
Heather Smith is an ex-nanny. Passionate about thought leadership and writing, Heather regularly contributes to various career, social media, public relations, branding, and parenting blogs/websites. She also provides value to nanny service by giving advice on site design as well as the features and functionality to provide more and more value to nannies and families across the U.S. and Canada.