The season's frigid temperatures has fitness enthusiasts seeking shelter for their active lifestyles, but what kind of air will you be pumping into your lungs through the months ahead?
While physical activity is a crucial part of wellness, the quality of the air you breathe plays a constant role in your overall health.
As you exercise, you take breaths that are deeper and more frequent, and sidestep the nose's filtration system, helping along whatever pollutants are being pulled into your lungs. Carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, dust, allergens, and chemicals from cleaning products, carpeting, air fresheners, smoke, and more are commonly found indoors, especially without air quality management in place.
Enough exposure of these substances can develop and worsen everything from fatigue and cognitive dysfunction, to asthma, respiratory issues, high blood pressure, and heart conditions, even among otherwise healthy athletes.
Venturing to the gym might also cause harm to your health and performance. Levels of toxins in gyms often exceed the standards acceptable for a healthy environment, especially during crowded evening classes in smaller rooms. In the United States, there is no official agency that formally monitors air quality in gyms. Unless you know your gym (or home, or office!) regularly manages their air quality, you could be exercising in undesirable, even detrimental conditions.
With proper care for your indoor air, you can make noticeable improvements to your physical and mental health, preparing for an active season of optimal wellness and increased accomplishments.