'Skipping to Duck Walk': Why doctors are advising people to work out indoors during smog

Medicos believe smog and outdoor exercise are a lethal combination. The smog in the air could literally choke morning walkers and fitness enthusiasts.

By Newsmeter Network  Published on  15 Dec 2022 1:30 AM GMT
Skipping to Duck Walk: Why doctors are advising people to work out indoors during smog

Come winter, thick grey clouds of air pollutants fill the sky.

Medicos believe smog and outdoor exercise are a lethal combination. The smog in the air could literally choke morning walkers and fitness enthusiasts.

Exercising in the smog

Dr. Rohith Reddy Pathuri, Consultant Pulmonologist & Critical Care Medicine, Century Super Specialty Hospital, Hyderabad, says, "There is a substantial air quality depreciation post-Diwali, which peaks in winter, especially in the northern parts of the country. The Air Quality Index (AQI) in most of these cities is more than 300, which is poor. The concentration of fine particulate matter (air pollutants) in the smog is so high that when inhaled can cause serious health problems.

"Even wearing masks don't help. Under such circumstances, if a person exercises outdoors, he/she may develop respiratory issues like bronchitis and asthma. And in those already suffering from chronic respiratory issues, the cumulative exposure to air pollution can deteriorate the condition and prove to be fatal too."

Post-COVID, the risk is higher

Incidentally, respiratory problems have gone up by 30-40% since the onset of COVID, adds Dr. Rohith. The hazards of winter smog can only worsen the situation. "Pre-COVID, people were fitter. Now, we have lots of patients, including children, suffering from respiratory problems," he says.

Work out indoors His suggestion for fitness enthusiasts, this season, is to avoid exercising outdoors, especially in the mornings. But if one really needs to, one can walk or jog in secluded or greener places, and with masks on! Safest to work out indoors, he insists.

Hyderabad-based fitness coach Dr. Parshuram Reddy prescribes some fun indoor workouts: "Skipping is a great alternative to jogging; can be done without a rope too. Squats are excellent for a full-body workout. Do the duck walk; waddling like a duck is good for the knees. Wall push-ups work well to strengthen arms; while toe-walking is great for overall balance and strength. Finally, play with your dog in the house - a physical activity that can be very enjoyable," he said

Forty minutes of a good home workout is all you need to stay fit and healthy when it's smoggy outside. And yes, sprint on, you can, once the smog's outta sight!

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