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