Nothing is better than running outside. The fresh air, scenic views, and sense of freedom are undeniable. However, before you lace up those shoes, there’s a crucial factor that can go unnoticed: air quality!! With all the “summer smoke” in the air, it’s becoming essential to keep an eye for hazardous conditions.
Poor air quality can have detrimental effects on our health, especially during activities like running. Breathing in low quality air can lead to respiratory problems, cardiovascular issues, and impaired athletic performance.
As conscientious runners, we must become aware of the Air Quality Index (AQI) in our area before hitting the pavement. AQI provides real-time information on air quality levels and categorizes them into different color-coded bands ranging from “Good” to “Hazardous.” Use the internet & your phone as a resource!
During periods of high AQI, consider adjusting your running routine. Opt for running indoors, or hitting the gym, OR TAKING THE DAY OFF!! That’s ok too… sometimes.
Lastly, don’t forget to listen to your body. If you experience any discomfort, shortness of breath, or irritation while running, stop immediately and walk back home or to your car.
The smoky air is an unfortunate problem and one that probably won’t be going away. Being mindful of air quality levels is an essential aspect of responsible outdoor running. So, let’s lace up and breathe easy!
About the author: Mark is the Operations Manager of the 2 AppRunCo stores in the Pittsburgh area. Mark loves running through the city and taking in all the cool views Pittsburgh offers. If Mark isn’t in a shoe store, you can find him at all the local disc golf courses throwing around a frisbee.