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  1. Do you like to do exercises in the outside as I do, for example jogging along the cannal on early mornings? I do, but is it indeed good to our health if we are exercising in a city? I am a keen runner and used to run in the big city where I lived and air was badly polluted from cars and plants. I had never noticed any harm to my health until two years ago I moved to a small town with clean air. After several weeks of morning sports there I noticed that I can run longer distances and breath easier, also my skin began to look nicer. I think it is a result of breathing a cleaner air whilst living in a suburb.  It would be highly interesting to know if there are any research studies proving my experience and might even say it is better to stay put rather than downbeat your health by exercising on the dirty air city streets. I would like this article to tell if the city outdoors sports may still be more beneficial on the balance than staying put.
  2. It is fact that aerobic activity is one of the key ways to maintain a healthy lifestyle. It is also known that air quality indoors can not only be poor, but also toxic. Our houses are full of unwanted toxic chemicals that reside in our foods, our household products and even our air. Studies have shown that air samples from inside typical homes contain polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs),[1] [2] which are known to be carcinogenic[3], amongst many other toxins bearing all sorts of other negative effects, including endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs). Logic perhaps therefore dictates that it is good for your health to exercise outdoors. But this logic may in fact be invalid, due to the harmful pollutants and emissions contaminating the air that we breathe outside. Although the existence of air pollution is well known, its subtle effects and consequences mean that its everyday presence generally goes unnoticed. Pollutants such as carbon emissions and chlorofluorocarbons get pumped into the air every day from the car engines, reducing air quality to a level that makes exercise and air pollution a potentially unhealthy combination.[4] [5] This is particularly true for those suffering from chronic conditions such as asthma, diabetes, heart or lung conditions or lower respiratory disease. For example, in asthma patients, or in those who have a similar respiratory condition, poor air quality can have a direct physical effect. It can make the patient feel out of breath earlier than usual when exercising, or increase the need for inhaler use.[6]  Even those not exercising can be at risk from the effects of air pollution, as is often seen on days when air pollution is very high.[7]  When exercising, exposure to high levels of air pollution can result in a greater risk of health problems. During aerobic activity, it is usual to inhale more air and breathe it more deeply into the lungs.[8] It is also more likely that inhalation will be via the mouth, bypassing the nasal passages which normally filter airborne particles.[4] Health risks associated with air pollution include damage to airways, increased risk of airway inflammatory disease such as asthma, worsening of existing respiratory conditions and increased risk of cardiovascular disease or stroke.[9] These diseases and conditions can then progress onto much more serious conditions.  Given the numerous hidden toxins lurking in our household air, it seems to make sense to exercise outdoors, although outdoor air can also contain numerous toxins, as described above. The risks from air pollution outdoors, however, do not mean that the benefits of regular exercise can not be enjoyed. In order to minimise the adverse effects of the combination of air pollution and exercise, air pollution levels should be monitored (many communities have a system of alerts) and outdoor exercise at the worst times or in the worst-affected areas should be reduced or avoided. Inner city air pollution levels are often highest within fifteen metres of a road and at the middle of the day when the air temperature is highest.    [1] Imm, P. et al. (2009) Household exposures to polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in a Wisconsin cohort. Environ Health Perspect. 117(12). 1890-5. [2] Wilford, BH. et al. (2004) Passive sampling survey of polybrominated diphenyl ether flame retardants in indoor and outdoor air in Ottawa, Canada: implications for sources and exposure. Environ Sci Technol 38(20). 5312–8. [3] Linares, V. et al. (2015) Human exposure to PBDE and critical evaluation of health hazards. Arch Toxicol. 89(3). 335-56. [4]  Laumbach, R. et al. (2015) What can individuals do to reduce personal health risks from air pollution? J Thorac Dis. 7(1). 96-107 [5] Wu, J. et al. (2014) Estimated emissions of chlorofluorocarbons, hydrochlorofluorocarbons, and hydrofluorocarbons based on an interspecies correlation method in the Pearl River Delta region, China. Sci Total Environ. 470. 829-34. [6] Jiang, XQ. et al. (2016) Air pollution and chronic airway diseases: what should people know and do? J Thorac Dis. 8(1). E31-40. [7] Gold, DR. & Samet, JM. (2013) Air pollution, climate, and heart disease. Circulation. 128. e411-414. [8] MTC (2016) The respiratory system. Retrieved April 2016 from, http://classes.midlandstech.edu/carterp/Courses/bio211/chap22/chap22.htm    [9] Smargiassi, A. et al. (2014) Associations between personal exposure to air pollutants and lung function tests and cardiovascular indices among children with asthma living near an industrial complex and petroleum refineries. Environ Res. 132. 38-45.