Sports Medicine
A Crucial Period
Good Pain, Bad Pain
On Your Knees
Secondary Injuries
Imaging Technology
What's Sciatica?
The Female Athlete
Putting Your Feet First
Itis Schmitis
Too Much, Too Soon
Under the Influence
What's Goin' On?
Think Inches, Not Pounds
Preventing Vaginitis
That Painful Pull
Athlete's Heart
Exercise & Arthritis
Chilled to the Bone
Measuring Body Fat
Exercise and Your Breasts
Choosing a Sports Doctor
Lean on Me (Shoulder)
Exercise & Anemia
Exercise Abuse
Pelvis Sighting
Hand Aid
It's All in the Wrist
Back in Action
Altitude Adjustment
Tennis Elbow, Anyone?
Exercising in the Heat
Agony of the Feet
Restless Legs
Night Time Cramps
Birth Control Concerns
No Periods, No Babies?
Post Partum Prescription
Weight Loss Mystery
Undesirable Cooldown
To Brew Or Not To Brew
Fitness After Baby
Biking and Back Pain
Swimmer's Shoulder
A Hidden Athlete
Avoiding Osteoporosis
Drug Testing
Maximum Heart Rate
Headway Against Headaches
Torn Rotator Cuff
Fat Figures
Bloody Urine
Sag Story
Lackluster Leg
Bothersome Bulge
Gaining in Years
Taking It On the Shin
Aching Ankles
Hoop Help
Tender Toes
Meals For Muscle
Growing Pains
Hot Tips
High Altitude PMS
Personal Bests
Air Pollution
Ankle Blues
Heartbreak Heel
Yeast Relief

Exercise and Air Pollution

Should you consider air quality when you exercise? Most definitely.

Air pollution has become such a pervasive problem across the country that there are virtually no places left unaffected. Even such pristine areas as the Grand Canyon and Yosemite National Park are having their vistas marred by the specter of air pollution.

Most of us exercise near large metropolitan areas, where the air quality is even more suspect. In fact, the air quality can be worse a hundred miles away from urban centers when weather patterns carry pollutants great distances from their source.

Should you consider air quality a factor when you exercise? Most definitely. Exercise increases your exposure to air pollutants for two reasons: First, you breathe more deeply and rapidly, so you take in more air. Second, you tend to breathe through your mouth, bypassing your nose's filtering system.

Polluted air contains compounds from the combustion of fossil fuels and automobile emissions. They include oxides of sulfur and nitrogen, carbon monoxide, particulates, lead and ozone. The study of the health effects of these compounds is in its infancy, but evidence to date implicates them in acute effects on health and exercise performance.

Ozone Exposure

Our principal exposure is to ozone, a colorless gas that constitutes up to 95 percent of smog. It is produced by the action of sunlight on nitrogen oxides and hydrocarbons from automobile emissions. Concentrations are highest in the afternoons on sunny days with little wind. Weather patterns, particularly inversion conditions, trap polluted air in valleys and basins next to the mountains.

Symptoms of ozone exposure include chest tightness, eye irritation, sore throat, wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath and headache. These symptoms indicate a decline in lung function - that is, the ability of lung tissue to transport oxygen to the bloodstream. Symptoms last for several hours after exercise.

Is ozone exposure dangerous to your health?

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Table of Contents

Foreword: Billie Jean King

Comments by Barb Harris
Editor in Chief,
Shape Magazine

General Health
Common Medical Problems
Dental Health
Infectious Disease
Sexual Health
Emotional Well-Being
Eating Disorders
Alcohol & Other Drugs
Environmental Health

The information in this web site is for educational purposes only and is not providing medical or professional advice. It should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease. It is not a substitute for professional medical care. If you have or suspect you might have any health problems, you should consult a physician.

Copyright 2000 - Sports Doctor, Inc.