Pollution could cancel out the health benefits of walking

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It is a matter of fact that walking has a number of benefits including extending your life and improving your heart health. However, the places where you do your walk matters and could cause even the opposite effect.  According to a new study published in the Lancet, strolling along streets with high pollution level may cancel out positive impact of walking.

A team of researchers recruited 119 people older than 60 with different health status. Some of the people were walking for two hours per day along busy London’s Oxford Street, while the others spent the same amount of time walking through a quiet part of the city’s Hyde Park. Despite all the participants had improvements in their lung capacity after walking in both locations, they experienced worsening of arterial stiffness, coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath after a walk on busy street of a big city.

“You should avoid polluted areas for doing any form of exercise, specifically walking,” explains lead researcher Kian Fan Chung, a professor of respiratory medicine at Imperial College London’s National Heart and Lung Institute. So, the place where you exercise matters as much as the activity itself.