Are Morning Walks Safe In Air Pollution: The air quality index (AQI) of Delhi remained in the ‘Severe’ category on Tuesday as Delhiites continue to struggle with breathing toxic air. The increasing air pollution is posing a severe threat to the health of individuals across the national capital and the adjoining areas. This has led to an increased risk of respiratory problems and deteriorating lung health.

In such a situation, there is a risk of practising outdoor exercises and going on morning walks. Most of us begin our day with morning walks, but is it safe in such high levels of air pollution? In a conversation with Jagran English, Dr Sandeep Nayar, Principal Director & HOD, Pulmonology, BLK-Max Super Speciality Hospital, Pusa Road, New Delhi explained how morning walks in toxic air and pollution can affect the lung health of an individual.

Watch the video below about correct way to wear masks for protection from air pollution: 

How Air Pollution Affects Lung Health? 

According to Dr Nayar, pollution poses risks to everyone, but extremes of age, that is small children and the elderly are more vulnerable as their immune system is slightly weaker than healthy adults. Many of the elderly are suffering from comorbid conditions and hence are at risk of developing severe health issues. It is of utmost importance to protect the elderly from getting exposed to polluted environments as precautions are always better than cure.

How To Stay Safe From Air Pollution? 

We must stay indoors as much as possible to avoid getting exposed to a polluted environment. The elderly are specially requested to avoid going out even for a morning walk. In case it is necessary to go out, they must cover themselves and wear a face mask.

Air pollution as severe effects on lung health (Image Credits: Canva)

Avoid morning walks or strenuous exercise outside because when we exercise or run or even walk for some time, we tend to breathe faster and take deep breaths. In case the air is unhealthy, we will take in more bad air which will cause more harm.

According to Dr Nayar, this time of the year, polluted air along with fog leads to SMOG (smoke + fog) which is very harmful to our health. Going for a walk in such an environment can lead to inhaling a dangerous mixture of polluted air. Once these pollutants are inhaled, they will irritate the respiratory tract and may lead to severe breathing problems. These pollutants then get diffused from the lungs to the blood from where they get carried to different parts of the body. Noxious gases and small particulate matter like PM 2.5 are more harmful as they get impacted deep in our bodies.

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