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Running in the Summer - Polluted Air?
Desert Dust Storm Hazy, Hot, Humid City
With the long days of summer, there are more daylight hours in which to exercise. Many people focus on running and outdoor activities. These days, though, it may be best to stay indoors and do another type of workout instead of breathing polluted air during strenuous cardio activity.
In an email this week, I was asked about running during the summer, specifically during sand / dust storms of Iraq. In a separate email I was also asked the same question about running near the cities of the South East Coast of the United States when the summer days are hazy, hot and humid. Both humid and dry summer environments are not the most enjoyable places to run because if dehydration does not slow you down the fine particulate matter that can lodge in your lungs will.
In the hot and humid cities like Washington DC, Atlanta, and even worse Beijing, more pollutants are trapped in the wet air that we breathe and will lead to many health issues such as:
1 – Reducing lung capability / function
2 – Damaging the lining of the lungs
3 – Causing asthma flare ups
4 – other chronic irreparable lung diseases
Tip to avoid: Do not run in the hottest part of the day and watch for Weather Ozone alerts in your city as the local weather channels / websites will discuss the fine particulate. For instance, check outWeather Channel State Air Quality Tool for up to date information about your city’s air quality.
In either environment, you should consider a TRX, weights, or PT workout for the day. I know it is tough to skip a cardio workout when seeking a fitness goal of some sort, but consider the near and long term health goals as well. Many complain of a persistent cough after running in a polluted area, which can last for months. If reduced lung capability is the best you can hope for when running in pollutants and permanent lung damage / cancer is the worst, I would seriously consider opting out of the long hard run until the air clears.
Stew Smith is a former Navy SEAL and fitness author certified as a Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) with the National Strength and Conditioning Association. If you are interested in starting a workout program to create a healthy lifestyle - check out the StewSmith.com Fitness eBook store and the Stew Smith article archive at StewSmith.com. To contact Stew with your comments and questions, e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
BOOKS / eBOOKS / DVDs
BOOKS / eBOOKS / DVDs
Complete Guide to Navy SEAL Fitness (Book / DVD)
The Special Operations Workout
The SWAT Workout - From Recruit to SWAT Team Member
The Combat Swimmer Stroke DVD
The Pre-Habit Workout DVD
Clinic DVD for Navy SEAL PST
The FBI Special Agent Test Clinic DVD
The Complete List of Stew Smith's eBooks:
Fitness for All Levels of Fitness
The 90 Day Beginner Guide to Fitness
The Advanced Maintenance and Recovery Program
The Special Forces Physical Fitness Workouts
Navy SWCC Workout
Air Force PJ / CCT Workout
The OCS, ROTC, Service Academy, & Bootcamp Workouts
The USMC IST and PFT Workout
The Service Academy Workout (West Point, Navy, Air Force Academy)
The Navy, Air Force, Marine Corp Bootcamp Workout
The PFT Bible - Military / Police Standard PFT
The Law Enforcement Physical Fitness Test Workouts
The Fire Fighter Workout
Some Titles Above available in Print Softcover Format