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EXERCISING IN POLLUTED AIR

Your daily walk, run or bike ride may not always be good for you, especially if you live in a city. According to the American Lung Association, exercising vigorously out-of-doors when air quality is poor can pose a serious threat to lung health.

The ALA advises active city dwellers to pay attention to air-quality reports, and on days when the ozone level is "unhealthy," to limit outdoor exercise to early morning or evenings. On days when pollution levels are above the "very unhealthy" level, exercisers should totally refrain from outdoor activities.

"The possible damage to your health far outweighs the benefits from exercise," says Thomas J. Godar, ALA president. Among ALA recommendations:

Stop exercising immediately if symptoms such as tightness in the chest, coughing or wheezing develop.

Avoid exercising near congested roads.

Stay at least 30-50 feet away from cars.

At traffic lights, move ahead of the exhaust pipe of the first car, or stay well in back of the last car until the light changes.

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