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.

 

Home Air Quality Check for Healthy Indoor Air

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

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.

Top 10 Health Benefits of Drinking Water

Water is the main component of the human body. In fact, the body is composed of between 55 and 78 percent water, depending on body size. Adequate and regular water consumption has numerous health benefits. As an added plus, it has no calories, fat, carbohydrates or sugar.

The amount of water you consume every day plays an important role in maintaining a healthy body. Experts recommend drinking eight to 10 glasses of water each day to maintain good health.

Furthermore, the National Academy of Medicine has determined the adequate intake of total beverage per day (AI) to be about three liters or 13 cups for men and 2.2 liters or nine cups for women.

Water helps keep the body well hydrated, which is essential because almost every cell in the body needs water to function properly.

Here are the top 10 health benefits of drinking water.

1. Relieves Fatigue

If you often feel tired, there is a high chance that it could be due to inadequate consumption of water which makes the body function less efficiently. In fact, fatigue is one of the first signs of dehydration.

When there is less water in the body, there is a drop of blood volume which causes the heart to work harder to pump oxygenated blood out in the bloodstream, and other major organs also work less efficiently. Thus, drinking adequate water can help your body function better and reduce fatigue.

2. Improves Mood

Research indicates that mild dehydration (even one or two percent lower hydration level of hydration than optimal) can negatively affect your mood and ability to think.

A small study conducted on 25 women and published in the Journal of Nutrition found that being dehydrated can take a toll on your mood and cognitive function. The color of your urine is a good indicator of your level of hydration. The lighter the color the better the level of hydration and vice versa.

3. Treats Headaches and Migraines

If you have a headache or a migraine, the first thing that you can do to get some relief is to drink plenty of water. Headaches and migraines are often caused by dehydration.

In a study published in the European Journal of Neurology, researchers found that increasing water intake helped reduce the total number of hours and intensity of headaches in the study participants.

4. Helps in Digestion and Constipation

Water also improves the functioning of the gastrointestinal tract. This helps in digestion and prevents constipation. Inadequate water in the body often results in constipation as the colon pulls water from the stools to maintain hydration, thereby making them harder and difficult to pass.

Drinking sufficient water boosts your metabolism and helps the body properly break down food. This helps your digestive system work well and promotes regular bowel movements. Warm water, in particular, is good for digestive health.

5. Aids Weight Loss

In a clinical trial, scientists found that drinking two eight-ounce glasses of water prior to meals can help suppress appetite and hence support your weight loss efforts. When you drink water, it fills your stomach and reduces the tendency to eat more.

Plus, it helps increase the rate at which the body burns fat, and promotes the breakdown and elimination of fat cells.

Calorie-free water is also a great replacement for high-calorie drinks like alcohol, sugary fizzy drinks, and sodas that often contribute to weight gain.

6. Flushes Out Toxins

Water is an excellent detoxifier as it helps flush out toxins from your body and get rid of waste primarily through sweat and urine.

It also promotes kidney function and reduces kidney stones by diluting the salts and minerals in urine that cause kidney stones.

Though you need to drink an adequate amount of water throughout the day, experts warn against drinking too much water (although uncommon still, it is possible) as it may reduce your kidneys’ ability to filter out waste.

Thus, it is recommended to drink the amount of water your body requires. As the amount of water required by the body tends to differ from one person to another, it is usually suggested to drink to your thirst, and also include other fluids and foods with high water content in your diet.

7. Regulates Body Temperature

An ample amount of water in the body also helps regulate body temperature. The thermal properties of water and its ability to release heat from the body when sweat evaporates from the surface of the skin greatly helps maintain an even body temperature.

A well-regulated body temperature also will make you feel more energetic when exercising. Water also helps keep your joints and muscles lubricated, thus preventing cramps and sprains.

8. Promotes Healthy Skin

Water keeps the body well hydrated and improves capillary blood flow, which promotes healthier and younger-looking skin. Water helps replenish skin tissues, moisturizes skin and increases the elasticity in your skin.

When the body gets enough water, your skin will feel moisturized and it will look fresh, soft, glowing and smooth. Also, water helps prevent and treat soft lines, scars, acne, wrinkles and other aging symptoms.

9. Relieves Hangover

Drinking water works as a simple yet effective way to get rid of hangover as well. Being a diuretic, alcohol causes you to pee much more than you take in. Thus, water helps rehydrate the body and speed up recovery.

Experts recommend drinking 16 to 20 ounces of water at night before going to bed after you have had too much alcohol.

10. Beats Bad Breath

Bad breath is a clear sign that you may not be drinking sufficient water. It keeps your mouth moist and washes away food particles and bacteria. It also dilutes the smelly compounds that oral bacteria create.

So, drink sufficient water and also rinse your mouth with water, especially after having a meal or snack to control odors and remove bacteria and food debris stuck between your teeth and gum line.

To conclude, it is essential to make necessary efforts to drink adequate amount of water daily. To derive the various health benefits of water, make sure to drink filtered water. Along with water, also take more fluids and eat more fruits and vegetables that are high in water content.

How to Grill Salmon on a Cedar Plank

Cedar plank grilling is an easy way to infuse salmon with a lush, smoky, aromatic flavor. Follow these 4 simple steps to get this grilling technique just right.

If you have never used wooden grilling planks, don’t worry — we’ll show you how in four easy steps. To get started, pick a plank-grilled salmon recipe you want to try.  Her something you can try,  simple but delicious Lime Barbecue Salmon Sandwiches.

Step 1: Choose a grilling plank

Cedar lends the most intense, aromatic flavor to salmon, but other woods are excellent for plank-grilling, too. We highly recommend the Weber Firespice Cedar Plank for that excellent smoke and flavor. 

Step 2: Prepare the plank

Plank-grilling gives salmon the flavor imparted by a smoker with the convenience of a grill. Be sure to prepare your wood properly to increase moisture for cooking and prevent burning.

Take these steps to prepare your wooden grilling plank:

  • Rinse the plank with water to remove any dust.
  • Fill a sink or other large container with water.
  • Submerge the plank in the water, placing a weight on top of it. Soak the plank for 1 to 4 hours.
  • Enhance the plank’s flavor by adding 1 tablespoon salt to the water. If desired, you may also stir in 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar, white wine vinegar, citrus or berry juice, or flavored liqueur to add more flavor.

Step 3: Prepare the salmon

Leave the salmon filet whole, cut it into serving-size portions, or use individual salmon steaks. You can add a dry rub, marinade, or herb mixture to flavor the salmon. Apply rubs to the salmon up to 24 hours in advance. Add marinades or herb mixtures to the salmon 2 hours or less before cooking.

Step 3.5: Prepare the grill for direct grilling

For a charcoal grill:

  • Light coals using lighter fluid, an electric starter, or a chimney starter. (If using lighter fluid, wait 1 minute before igniting the fire.) Let the fire burn until the coals are covered with a light coating of gray ash.
  • Arrange coals evenly across the bottom of the grill, covering an area 3 inches larger on all sides than the plank.

For a gas grill:

  • To light a gas grill, open the lid. Turn the gas valve to “on” and ignite the grill as directed by the manufacturer. Turn the burners on high. Close the lid and preheat the grill for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Reduce heat to medium.

Step 4: It’s Grill Time! 

  • Place the plank on the grill rack and allow it to preheat for about 5 minutes, or until it begins to crackle and smoke.
  • Lay the salmon onto the plank, cover the grill, and allow the salmon to cook for 12 to 20 minutes, depending on its thickness.
  • To test for doneness, insert a fork into the thickest part of the salmon. If it flakes easily, it’s finished cooking.

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

Recipe of the Week: Swordfish and Tomato Kabobs

INGREDIENTS

MARINADE

  • ¼ cup finely chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
  • Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 swordfish steaks, each about 8 ounces and 1 inch thick, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 cups (about 24) grape tomatoes

INSTRUCTIONS

  • If using bamboo skewers, soak in water for at least 30 minutes.
  • Prepare the grill for direct cooking over medium heat (350° to 450°F).
  • In a medium bowl combine the marinade ingredients. Put the swordfish steaks in the bowl, cover, and marinate at room temperature for 15 to 30 minutes while the grill preheats.
  • Thread the swordfish and tomatoes alternately on the skewers. Discard any remaining marinade.
  • Brush the cooking grates clean. Grill the kabobs over direct medium heat, with the lid closed as much as possible, until the swordfish is opaque in the center but still juicy, 8 to 10 minutes, turning several times. Remove from the grill and serve right away.

Ready for Outdoor Fun? Get a Weber Grill! 

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.

Protect Your Home from  Indoor Air Pollution – We conduct FREE Air Quality Test!

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