If you like to cross-train by running or biking, you're probably looking forward to exercising outside as we head into milder temperatures. But new research suggests that where you run may matter more than you think. A study published in The BMJ found that women who were exposed to higher levels of air pollution were more likely to experience anxiety. Participants tended to have higher anxiety symptoms just by living within 200 meters of a major road—and exposure to pollution increases when you're outside.
There's good news too, though. Another study from the University of Copenhagen found that the beneficial effects of exercising generally outweigh the harmful ones of pollution. And there are things you can do to reduce your exposure to pollutants even if you live in a major city. Try these tips:
3. Avoid the busiest areas where car exhaust and other pollutants are at their highest levels. Try running on quieter trails near your home, or duck into a nearby park if you're in the middle of the city.