Where to Exercise - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Monday, April 14, 2003

Where to Exercise

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When Patrick & I exercise, we know what we need to do, just like you. But here's another question: where should we exercise? Our impression, like yours also, is probably exercising outside in a park like this is good for you, much better than indoors. But the facts are exercising here could actually be hazardous to you. Let me tell you why.

When you exercise, whether it be outside like this or indoors, you do two things. Number one you breathe faster, therefore you're breathing in more of the ambient air, and the other thing - you tend to breathe through your mouth and not your nose and that avoids filters - the natural ones you have in your nose that filter out the bad things.

Now, exercising outdoors in the ambient air includes things that might not be good for you - especially if you have asthma, lung conditions or heart disease - it may include some of the gases: carbon monoxide, ozone, sulfer-dioxide and also particles - very minute particles get into your lungs - they actually get absorbed into the blood stream, can thicken the blood and can lead to heart attacks.

So the point of this story is if you're going to exercise and you have a lung problem such as asthma, or you have a heart problem, being outdoors may not be such a good idea. Maybe doing it inside would be better. Certainly avoid outdoors if there's a high-pollution index or exercise in the morning when those levels are very low. So when you exercise you need to know how to do and also where to do it.

I'm Dr David Vastola, and that's life.

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