A new study just came out showing that walking may not be so great for you…if you are doing it in a polluted area.
This study was from the Lancet, titled “Respiratory and cardiovascular responses to walking down a traffic-polluted road compared with walking in a traffic-free area in participants aged 60 years and older with chronic lung or heart disease and age-matched healthy controls: a randomized, crossover study”
This study was done in London, where two groups were compared.
In all participants, irrespective of their disease status, walking in Hyde Park led to an increase in lung function…up to 26 h after the walk. By contrast, these beneficial responses were attenuated after walking on Oxford Street.
They concluded, “Short-term exposure to traffic pollution prevents the beneficial cardiopulmonary effects of walking in people with COPD, ischaemic heart disease, and those free from chronic cardiopulmonary diseases.”
While walking was used in this study, I think it would be a safe bet to say that any form of exercise done in a bad quality air place would have much the same effects.
Since that time, I’ve seen more and more research discussing the devastating effects of air pollution, whether this comes from traffic or VOC’s found inside our homes because of off-gasing furniture, carpets and more.
Because you can’t see these things, we tend not to think of them. But that doesn’t mean they don’t have very real effects.
For your health. And for your performance.
My question for you to ask yourself today:
What is the air quality of where you workout?
And if you do breathing exercises, how is the air quality where you do them?
Lots inside of Upgrade Your Breathing that will show you steps you can take to improve your air quality.
Sinharay, R., Gong, J., Barratt, B., Ohman-Strickland, P., Ernst, S., Kelly, F., . . . Chung, K. F. (2017). Respiratory and cardiovascular responses to walking down a traffic-polluted road compared with walking in a traffic-free area in participants aged 60 years and older with chronic lung or heart disease and age-matched healthy controls: a randomised, crossover study. The Lancet.