25 Nov '12, 4pm

Training in polluted air blocks cognitive gains, increases inflammation. But is it worse than not exercising?

Belgian researchers did a neat study, whose results were just published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise , comparing the effects of training in urban or rural environments. They took two groups of sedentary volunteers: 15 students from a university in the big city of Brussels, and nine students from a university in the small town of Mol. Each group did a 12-week exercise program, training 3 times a week on their respective university tracks. The training program was a "Start to Run" program that progressed from 20 minutes of walking and running to 32 minutes of all running. During the training sessions, the researchers measured levels of particulate matter between 0.02 and 1 micrometer in diameter -- the type of pollution produced by cars and trucks. So here's the punch line: both groups increased their fitness equally by the end of the program, but the urban gro...

Full article: http://www.runnersworld.com/health/training-polluted-air-...

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