HOW AIR QUALITY AFFECTS ATHLETIC PERFORMANCE

Outdoor workouts could expose athletes to the unhealthy effects of air pollution. Due to growing concerns about climate change, exhaust emission and industrial wastes in some cases, the air quality in big cities may not be as fresh. Studies have shown that inhalation of polluted air can lead to decreased lung function, difficult breathing, coughing and bronchospasms related symptoms induced by regular exercise. During light to moderate exercise, athletes take in more air with each inhalation in order to meet increased oxygen demands. This could prove to be tricky as air is now inhaled through the mouth, bypassing the natural filtration system of the nose. As the exercise becomes more intense and breathing increases, different air pollutants get inhaled and travel to the respiratory system unfiltered. Here we consider two factors that could pollute the air, affecting the health of athletes.

Ozone

Although this is not directly released into the air, chemical reactions between volatile organic compounds, sunlight, and heat create the ozone leading to reduced lung functions for athletes that engage in outdoor exercise when the concentrations are at its peak. The Ozone concentration is usually high at midday when solar radiation is at its peak and low during winter.

Particulate Matter

Recent studies have shown that athlete output tends to decrease in high particulate matter conditions due to the impairment of vasodilation in the peripheral vasculature. The safer the air is from automobile exhausts, the better an athlete’s performance will be as particulate matter concentration increases when the environment is polluted by emissions from automobile exhausts.

Short-term Effects of Air pollution

Athletes who are regularly exposed to air pollutants could suffer from asthma in cases where dehydration is associated with polluted air inhalation. Exposure to these air pollutants can also lead to Airway Hyper responsiveness (AHR) – a condition that causes not only to asthma, but could lead to Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).

Long-term Effects of Air pollution

The long-term effects of air pollution to athletes should be taken seriously. Some studies have shown that people who live in areas of high particulate matter concentration are more likely to die of heart attacks. This is especially a concern for endurance athletes as they breathe in more deeply than any other person – inhaling polluted air will be even more detrimental for them.

While outdoor exercises could be dangerous as air pollution is a constant problem, it will be unwise for an athlete to completely opt in for 100 percent indoor exercise. For this reason, an athlete should take necessary steps to avoid polluted environments. This they can do by engaging in early morning or late evening workouts when the ozone concentration is at its minimum, athletes could also avoid congested roadways as emissions from automobiles could be detrimental. Athletes could also train indoors when necessary if outdoor exercise does not seem viable at the time.

 

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5 Health Benefits Of Fresh Air

While growing up, the activities we engaged in – swinging at the park, cruising on bikes with friends and generally participating in outdoor activities actually go a long way to provide us with fresh, healthy air. However, as adults, most of our time is spent indoors. Scientific studies have shown that some fresh air outdoor will really do you some good.

Fresh Air Can Boost your Immune System

Engaging in outdoor exercise leads to an increase in natural killer cells, monocytes, and neutrophils which can boost immune function. Fresh oxygen leads to improved white blood cell function which can help fight against germs and bacteria. So it may just be about the right time you stepped out of your office or close quarters that expose you to a lot of germs and breathe in some quality air.

Fresh Air is great for your Lungs

When sitting at a confined place, air flow is not as great – apical breathing which involves inhaling air into the top of your lungs is more of a normal experience. On the other hand, outdoor activities – jogging or taking a walk can increase diaphragmatic breathing so your breathing is deeper, ensuring air is drawn to the bottom of the lungs. More airborne toxins are expelled through this process, helping to cleanse your respiratory system.

Improved Cell Function

Fresh air or oxygen improves the efficiency and function of your body cells. Fresh air helps you digest your food properly – more reason you are advised to take a small walk outside after eating. Fresh air also aids tissue renewal, muscle contraction and production of hormones.

Fresh Air improves Happiness

The amount of fresh oxygen you inhale determines the amount of serotonin in your body and serotonin release can significantly lighten your mood, promoting a sense of happiness and well-being. This is the reason you feel happy and relaxed whenever you engage in mild outdoor activities in the presence of fresh air. Every individual loves to be happy, everyone should love fresh air!

Improved Brain function

20% of inhaled oxygen is used by your brain to function. Hence, for optimal brain activity, it is only normal that you engage in more outdoor activities to improve your brain function so you can concentrate, focus and think better.

There is an abundance of fresh, clean air around us and for this, we are lucky. Avoid staying in polluted areas and engage in outdoor activities as much as possible and experience a happier, fresher life.

 

Home Air Quality Check for Healthy Indoor Air

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How Indoor Air Pollution Affects Your Health

Indoor air pollution can be really detrimental to the health sometimes even more dangerous than outdoor air pollution. Contaminants such as gases and particles can pollute the air of the indoor environment and could lead to respiratory disease, or even cancer in some cases. It is important we recognize these pollutants and do all we can to avoid them in our immediate environment.

Cancer

This could arise if asbestos is in your home. Asbestos could be found in various materials used in the construction of homes such as coatings, ceiling, building materials; floor tiles and paints although newer products today do not contain asbestos. However, if found in your home, asbestos could lead to asbestosis, lung cancer, mesothelioma and other related cancers.

Infectious Diseases

Contaminants such as bacteria, dust mites or animal dander in the home could lead to serious health effects such as throat irritation, flu, asthma and other infectious diseases.

Irritation of delicate body parts

Formaldehyde is another source of indoor pollution which could lead to irritation of the eyes, throat, nose, as well as allergy and in some cases, it could lead to cancer. In fact, its production has been banned in the United States since 1970 but can still be found in wood floors, paints, and sealants so they could still find their way to your home.

Respiratory Diseases

Tobacco smoke that can come as a result of indoor and outdoor activities could be a source of indoor air pollution. Individuals who inhale tobacco smoke could suffer from pneumonia, bronchitis, irritation of the respiratory tract, lung cancer, heart related diseases and emphysema.

Heart Diseases

Indoor air pollution could lead to diseases of the heart. This is especially true for those who might have suffered a heart attack before the pollution of the indoor environment. Individuals could suffer from heart failure – where the heart is too weak to carry blood around the body. Those affected could also experience angina – chest pain that arises when enough oxygen rich blood does not get to your heart. Heart rhythmicity could also be at risk with problems like arrhythmia – too fast or too slow heartbeat, arising. Diabetic patients could also be at risk here as they are likely to have unpleasant heart conditions due to indoor pollution.

Everyone deserves a good life, therefore ensuring you breathe in the only fresh air almost 100 percent of the time is the best way to avoid health risks associated with air pollution. Young children inhale much more air than adults in relation to their body weight. For this reason, they are more likely to inhale contaminants in polluted areas. Older ones, on the other hand, have weaker heart, lungs and defense systems and so more oxygen is definitely needed to provide needed support to their aging cells.

 

Home Air Quality Check for Healthy Indoor Air

Renaud Air offers accurate air quality tests. Learn more about the air you breathe at home.

Breathing Clean Air Means Healthier Children

Children breathe in more air than adults as they have lungs still undergoing development and they inhale more air per pound of their body weight than adults do. For this reason, children are more susceptible to air pollution than adults. Indoor air pollution is even more dangerous as there is usually general lack of ventilation and air flow, leading to the presence of contaminants that kids can easily be exposed to. For your kids to be healthy, you must take necessary steps to ensure they avoid environments that are polluted. There are various ways you can achieve this and have a happy, healthy child.

No Smoking

Do not smoke or allow anyone smoke in the presence of your child. If you do smoke, you could wear a smoking jacket and remove it before you enter a child care premises or an environment where children may be found.

Limit Perfumes and Fragrances

Artificial air fresheners and scented candles contain chemicals, including dangerous solvents which help achieve the purpose of providing fragrance and scented atmosphere. These chemicals should be avoided in homes where there are children and in the place of them, essential oils may be used.

Use Less Toxic Cleaning Products

Many ingredients in cleaning products pollute the indoor air, making breathing fresh air a huge task. Use of these cleaning products could lead to irritation of the eyes, skin and damage to the respiratory tract and natural environment. Using biodegradable cleaning products are not only less toxic but they will do less damage to the health of your kids.

Pest Management

Integrated Pest Management is an effective, chemically free alternative to the use of pesticides to control pests. The Integrated Pest Management has little or no hazardous effect to people especially kids, the environment, and properties in the environment.

 

In reality, less pollution and availability of fresh air could set your child on the path to a long, healthy and satisfying life. You owe children under your care 100 percent protection at all times and there is no better way you can do this than ensuring your kids breathe in only fresh air at all times as much as you can control. Air pollution really affects the health of your child, so definitely clean, fresh air really matters. While engaging in any outdoor activity, you could take your child out for a walk depending on the age of the child or allow them to have a great time with their friends in the park or neighborhood. This will go a long way to improve their breathing experience and ensure they also do well in their academics as a healthy child is a happy child.

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There is still work to be done to clean up Hong Kong’s air

The government has a chance to redouble efforts to upgrade local truck and bus fleets and develop a strategy to cut the growth in the number of cars

Outgoing chief executive Leung Chun-ying listed the environment as one of his priorities when campaigning for office. That was five years ago. Were he to have sought a second term in office, would he have been able to campaign on his government’s record in fighting air pollution? It is a mixed scorecard. Undersecretary for the environment, Christine Loh, says a report assessing performance under the 2013 Clean Air Plan, due out in a few weeks, will show there has been “significant progress” towards hitting international targets. But that is when measured against a bar that has been set fairly low.

Annual average roadside levels of PM10 – respirable particles smaller than 10 microns – dropped from around 53 micrograms per cubic metre in 2012 to less than 40mcg last year. The report projects a further fall to 30mcg by 2020. Projections for the fall in the more insidious hazard of PM2.5 will not be known until the report is out.

Roadside levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) fell from 120mcg to 80mcg and are forecast to drop to 65mcg by 2020, against the WHO’s standard of 40mcg. In terms of “bad air” days and reduction of pollutants, there has been significant impact on air quality, according to Loh. Most progress was made in lowering shipping emissions of sulphur dioxide (SO2), thanks to legislation requiring ships to switch to low-sulphur fuel on berthing. A new emissions control area for Pearl River Delta waters to be set up by the mainland in 2019, requiring all ships to burn low-sulphur fuel in regional waters, is expected to slash SO2 levels to one third of those in 2012.

However, most pollutant levels are still far above the WHO’s ultimate targets, with roadside and ambient pollution hovering at unsafe levels and smog-inducing ozone still a major regional headache. The HK$11.7 billion scheme to subsidise the phasing out of old diesel-burning commercial vehicles has helped improve roadside air. The government is conducting a five-year review of the city’s air quality objectives. It is a chance to redouble its efforts to upgrade heavy-polluting local truck and bus fleets, and developing a strategy for curbing the growth in the number of cars, which has worsened pollution, and for providing incentives to use clean energy.

(Reposted from South China Morning Post)

Should You Add An Air Purifier To Your Home Gym

Indoor air pollution has been found in some studies to be as much as 100 times worse than the air outside. Tobacco smoke, household cleaning products, chemical air fresheners, mold, radon, formaldehyde, building material byproducts, carbon and nitrogen dioxide – there’s a lot of dangerous stuff lingering in the air inside our homes. 

A great many of you out there may find the idea of working out in a dingy, dusty home gym appealing. If you’re at all concerned about breathing clean air while working out to improve your health, you probably don’t.

High Cost

A whole-house air purification system is something that everyone should have installed in their homes and maintained regularly. Of course, not everyone wants to spend upwards of $5000 on what most people would consider a “luxury” expense. This, despite how dangerous the air inside the average home is.

If you don’t have a whole-house system, a portable air purifier is the next best thing.

How to Choose an  Air Purifier

There are thousands of different models to choose from, offered by hundreds of different manufacturers. It would be easy enough to just do a Google search, see what models have the highest ratings, then purchase whatever fits into your price range. That’s the easiest way, but not the smartest.

The most expensive model won’t be the best option. Nor will the cheapest one on the shelf. Continue reading below to learn the most important things to look for when choosing an air purifier for your home needs.

Look for HEPA filters

Choosing an purifier that offers this will ensure the air you’re breathing while you workout or relax is as clean as it can be:

  • HEPA filter: High-Efficiency Particulate Air filters are designed to filter 99.97% of all airborne particulates down to 0.03 microns. This is about as good as it gets for particulate filtration – outside perhaps what’s used in high-tech laboratory environments. This option won’t cost much more than a non-HEPA filter.

Size does matter:

All jokes aside, you can consider any money you spend on an air purifier completely wasted if you don’t get a unit that’s made to more than adequately filter the space you’ll be using it in. Choosing an air filter based on the square footage it can filter is the same as buying an air conditioner to cool a room in your home. If you buy too small, you won’t get the results you’re looking for.

This is why it’s a good idea to purchase more than one if you want to keep all the air in your home clean.

Here’s how to measure in order to determine what size air purifier you need (you’ll need a tape measure and possibly a calculator):

  • Measure L x W x H of the area you want to filter, such as your home gym (measure to the highest point of the ceiling, along with the longest and widest lengths, if the room isn’t built completely square).
  • Using a calculator multiply L x W x H to find the square footage of the room.

For instance, a room that’s 10 x 12 x 8 = 960 square feet. In this case, you’d have to round up to a purifier rated to cover 1000 or more square feet.

Air filter replacement cost:

This one is simple. Go with the unit that offers cheaper filter changes. Regardless if the model with cheaper filters costs $100 more upfront.

Filter upkeep is the real expense when it comes to maintaining an air purifier, not the upfront cost. Considering filters need to be changed 4 times per year, and those filters range from $20 – $50 on average, it should be obvious how quickly things can start adding up.

Conclusion

Cleaning the air inside your home will promote greater health, improve your home workouts, and prevent diseases of lung and other cancers. Considering that most of us spend, on average, around 90% of our lives indoors now, a quality air purifier doesn’t just make sense, it really is essential to a long and healthy existence.

Think the air inside your home is clean? If you want proof one way or the other, sign-up for a FREE Home Air Quality Assessment today. Sign-Up Here

How Air Pollution Affects our Brains

For most people, it’s easy to see how air pollution can have a negative impact on respiratory health. After all, it is inhaled into the lungs and through the passageways of the respiratory system; also, anyone who’s ever been in the midst of a lot of smoke – like a bonfire – knows how it can make you cough and splutter. Indeed, the impact that air pollution has on the lungs and on breathing is apparent, but a couple of new studies show a tentative link between pollution and reduced brain performance that is sure to surprise you.

New Information about Pollution and the Human Brain

Hundreds of studies have delved into the effects of air pollution and the respiratory system; far fewer have taken closer looks at the relationship between pollution and the brain. That is beginning to change, though, as several highly respected research groups are examining the ways that air pollution may affect the human brain. Two of the most recent studies – one by the Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health, and the other by a joint effort between the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Harvard University – present some truly eye-opening information.

The Columbia Study

In the Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health study, which was authored by epidemiologist and director Frederica Perera, New York City five-year-olds were the subject of the research in question. The study found that five-year-olds who had been exposed to higher than usual levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, or PAH, while still in utero had IQ levels four points lower than those who weren’t exposed to such elevated levels of PAH. The study was conducted by having expectant mothers wear air monitors during their pregnancies, and IQ tests were administered to the children around age five.

The Harvard/UNC-Chapel Hill Study

If news that PAH may play a role in lowered IQs in children isn’t revelatory enough, the joint study by Harvard University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill may be. This 2008 study took a look at a group of people aged twenty to fifty years and found connections between elevated levels of ozone and reduced attention spans, slower reaction times and compromised short term memories. With this study, it is apparent that air pollution’s effects on the brain strike people of all ages and at all levels of development.

What the Studies Mean

Based on these two recent studies – and on several others that are constantly being conducted – it is plain to see that a link of some sort does exist between elevated levels of air pollution and impaired brain function. The Columbia study, in particular, should concern parents-to-be who want to give their children the best start on life possible. Escaping to the country from the smog-filled city, though, really isn’t good enough. Indoor air quality is a major concern, and since most of us spend the majority of our time inside our homes it’s safe to say that it plays a major role in the pollutants that we breathe.

What You Can Do

On a broad scale, it’s apparent that much more needs to be done about levels of exhaust and traffic-related pollution. However, it’s possible to take a proactive approach by making a few key changes in your own life.

 

Staying indoors on especially smoggy days is one great tip. Keeping an eye on Air Quality Levels that are published by local watch groups is another smart way to stay on top of things. However, keeping the indoor air quality of your home as high as possible is imperative – and air cleaners can help.

HEPA Air Purifiers For Mitigating The Effects Of Air Pollution

HEPA air purifiers remove up to 99.97% of airborne particulates from the air in your home; they help with sinus, allergy, and asthma relief and can help protect your respiratory system from harm. Since these recent studies suggest a link between lowered brain functioning and air pollution, it’s possible that using a HEPA based air purifier can lessen the chances of incurring such damages yourself.

 

If you’re interested in using topnotch HEPA air purifiers in your home, you can rely on the experienced and exceptional services of Renaud Air. In turn, you can reduce the chances of exposing yourself and your loved ones to harmful airborne particulates and air pollution that might compromise the health of your brain and your body.

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