Q Pol­lu­tion scare sto­ries are ev­ery­where. Is it time to quit road­side run­ning? NL

Mens Health (Australia) - - Ed’s Letter -

In short, no. Whether you’re a hard­ened car­dio com­muter or just like to squeeze in a lo­cal route at lunch, the ben­e­fits of ex­er­cise are proven to out­weigh the ill ef­fects of smog – that’s the res­pi­ra­tory ill­ness, heart dis­ease et al that you’ve heard so much about. “Pol­lu­tion trig­gers in­flam­ma­tion,” says Dr Au­drey de Nazelle, a lec­turer in air pol­lu­tion. “But ex­er­cise re­duces this.” So un­less you’ve been work­ing as a bike mes­sen­ger in Delhi, there’s no rea­son to limit your ur­ban ac­tiv­i­ties. You’d still be pru­dent to cut your risks where you can, though. “You can re­duce your ex­po­sure by 30 per cent just by rerout­ing to a qui­eter road,” says de Nazelle. “An­tiox­i­dants also help by neu­tral­is­ing the free rad­i­cals cre­ated by air pol­lu­tion.” Make a spinach omelette your fi­nal des­ti­na­tion.

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