It’s a great idea to be outdoors, but what about strenuously exercising outdoors? Is that a bad thing? The thing to consider is the amount of air pollution. If there is a lot of air pollution you certainly don’t want to suck it into your lungs.
The dangers of exercising outdoors
Air pollution can negatively impact pulmonary function, making it harder for blood to reach the lungs, so be careful where you choose to exercise.
According to a study presented at EuroEcho-Imaging 2016, pollution in the air can impair the function of the blood vessels that pull air from the lungs into the bloodstream. This indicates that outdoor exercise in urban areas has the potential to damage the lungs. Worse, it may even lead to decompensated heart failure.
The study involved 10 healthy male volunteers who were exposed to pollutants in an enclosed chamber. During a randomized, crossover study, the researchers piped either ambient air or dilute diesel exhaust (with a PM2.5 concentration of 300 μg/m3) into a chamber for 2 hours. The volunteers were then given an echocardiography test to determine the effects of the pollution on pulmonary vascular resistance.
The tests discovered that exposure to pollution reduced pulmonary acceleration time while increasing pulmonary acceleration slope. The pollution also worsened the function of the right ventricle and decreased pulmonary circulation. Patients with obstructive sleep apnea noticed the most severe pulmonary impact.