26 February 2012

Running a pollution risk

If you exercise outdoors, you’re vulnerable to toxins in the air. Learn how to gauge your city’s ‘pollution mood’ and keep your exposure to a minimum.


If you exercise outdoors, you’re more exposed to more toxins in the air because you're breathing more rapidly and heavily. Learn how to gauge your city’s "pollution mood" and keep your exposure to a minimum:

  • Avoid exercising near areas of heavy traffic – choose quieter roads, parks or sports fields.
  • Early morning and evening (before and after peak traffic, i.e. before 7 a.m. and after 7 p.m.) are generally the best times for outdoor exercise. If safety’s a concern then get a group together. Still winter mornings, however, are often conducive to higher pollution levels – on such days, try exercising a little later in the day.
  • Wind and rain can help disperse and wash pollution out of the air, so after a rainstorm or a blustery spell is a good time for outdoor activities.
  • If you must exercise when pollution levels are high, decrease your workout’s duration or intensity, and rather make up for it on a less polluted day.

- Olivia Rose-Innes, EnviroHealth Editor, Health24, February 2012

More EnviroHealth Tips

Read more: 

10 minute jog = ? cigarettes


Get a quote


Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Live healthier

Up for grabs! »

To vape or not to vape? Twisp's new range of e-cigs Discover your Twisp

Win one of the 3 new devices from Twisp!

Now you can stand a chance of winning one of the 3 new devices, as well as flavours and accessories worth R2000 each!

Love your heart »

SA dying of heart disease Natural trans fats good for heart Heart probs and sex life

How old is your heart? Take this test

What's your heart age? Use the calculator to see the real age of your heart. Post your results in the comments!