Exercising outdoors is a lot more beneficial to our health that hitting up the gym, it burns more calories and helps to release serotonin – which regulates anxiety and influences happiness.

With air pollution becoming an increasing concern, especially in London, don’t stick to the gym, here are 5 tips to ensure exercising safely in the city.

Check air pollution levels

The Met Office monitors air pollution levels and issues alerts through Defra UK Air as well as the real time air quality index online. By checking these as often as you check the weather, you’ll soon gage what the usual air pollution levels are in your area.

When to exercise

Air pollution increases during midday and the afternoon, so these should be the times you avoid exercising outside. This is due to the heat from the sun charging up chemical compounds which are in the atmosphere, you’ll notice these times are also the most smoggy. If you’re unable to change your timings, then lower the intensity of your work out, this will limit the toxins you may breath in.

Exercise off the beaten track

Avoid working out in areas near busy junctions and main roads, these areas which will see the highest concentration levels, as well as smoking areas which have high pollution levels as well. If possible, try and find streets away from main roads to run on.

Wear a mask

Even though it is less common in the UK to see cyclists wear filtration masks, in comparison with China. But it’s a good way to get ahead by getting in the habit of taking measures to protect our health from the harsh environment conditions. Whilst this isn’t a solution to air pollution, it can mitigate the risk of small particles going deep into the lungs.

Go easy

On high level pollution days, if you suffer from an illness such as asthma, don’t get too physically active. If you feel unwell from exercising outdoors, then it’s important to contact a GP for advice.

At Broadgate GP, our doctor can advise on a number of problems, simply contact us today.