There’s no doubt about it: smog exists in our cities and it is harmful. Poland belongs to a group of countries with the worst air quality in Europe. Out of the 50 most polluted European cities, as many as 33 are in our country. Articles and research all point to a singular conclusion – we’re breathing air of a very poor quality. Particulate matter, i.e. PM10 and PM2.5, is most harmful to us. The first one is particularly harmful to our eyes (especially our conjunctivae) and our respiratory system – and may cause coughing, shortness of breath, and breathing difficulties. But PM 2.5 is even more dangerous. Because of its small size (just 2.5 micrometers), it can penetrate deeper into our organisms – entering our bloodstream and our internal organs. The list of negative symptoms caused by breathing polluted air is very long. Suffice to say, air pollution causes as many as 50,000 premature deaths in Poland every year, and most of these cases are linked to PM2.5.
People who work out outdoors are particularly exposed to the negative effects of smog and air pollution. Primarily because we inhale much more air during training and physical exercise than we do when at rest.
“Around 480 liters of air flows through our lungs every hour; when running, this number can be anything between 7,200 and up to 12,000 liters! So, by jogging through smog for an hour, we breathe in enormous amounts of harmful particles” – says Michał Bukraba, a certified personal trainer at CityFit.
So, if you don’t want to give up on running or any other types of outdoor physical activities, then you should at least think about buying a special anti-smog mask. It’s better to work out indoors in a fitness club, especially during winter when we’re most exposed to higher levels of smog. However, before switching from urban sidewalks and parks to treadmills, make sure that your fitness club is properly ventilated. And remember, you can breathe easy at CityFit clubs.
*Air quality was checked on December 21st, 2017.