Large scale air pollution, in addition to closed gyms and ski slopes, discourages outdoor activity. Where and when should you exercise in “fresh” air, so as not to damage your health?
Coronavirus pandemic restrictions are keeping those who care about physical fitness awake at night. While fitness clubs, gyms and ski slopes are closed, many fans of physical activity are left solely with outdoor gyms or jogging in the park. Here, however, lies another problem. What do you do in that situation, when a large part of the country is being affected by smog? We have prepared a small guide which will help many of you to find your way in this complicated situation. In case of any doubts, it is always worth looking at MyAirly – our air quality map – to find out the quality you are breathing at this very moment.
Here are 6 rules you should keep in mind when exercising outside during the winter:
1. Particulate matter pollution is usually lowest around noon during the day.
2. The worst air quality usually occurs in the evening and at night.
3. Traffic pollutants, mainly nitrogen dioxide, reach their maximum levels in the morning and afternoon during traffic peaks. Avoid playing sports near busy roads.
4. Air quality can change very quickly – and it can also vary significantly within a single city. So, it’s a good idea to monitor the Airly sensor map, which gives you real-time air quality data (the round dots on the map). You can also check an air quality forecast for the next 24 hours. This is all available on the air pollution map – MyAirly.
5. Green areas can significantly improve air quality. The larger the area of green space is, the better the impact. Additionally, you will be the further away from emission sources the deeper into the forest you go. However, Airly units are very rarely located in such areas.
6. Air quality in the countryside can be much worse than in the city, due to higher emissions from people burning fuels (see example of Krakow’s “obwarzanek”, i.e. the municipalities surrounding Cracow – read more).
Graph: Average daily PM2.5 concentration trends for all Airly devices in Kraków (1.10.2020-07.01.2021). The dashed line indicates the daily PM2.5 standard according to the WHO.
Data analysis: Marcin Szwagrzyk
Editorial: Marcin Gnat