Should We be Exercising Outdoors When the Air is Bad?
UPHE was asked to weigh in on whether school age children should be participating in outdoor sports and activities with pollution levels this high. There is an easy answer: absolutely not.
Aerobic exercise increases the respiratory rate and the heart rate and can dramatically increase the amount of pollution inhaled and delivered throughout the body. Moreover, during this pandemic, the virus can attach itself to the smoke particles, carry further and stay in the atmosphere longer. Air pollution increases the chance of getting COVID, the severity of COVID if a person gets infected, and the chance of hospitalization and death. Pollution impairs the immune system, renders the body less able to fight off the infection, and aggravates many of the disease characteristics of the virus, such as decrease in lung function and increased risk of blood clotting.