Lung buster or mood lifter? The down low on exercising outdoors

June 29, 2012


I’ve always loved jogging outdoors. Okay yes, it’s harder on the knees and some days I really wish there were moving sidewalks out there pulling my feet forward just like a gym treadmill, alas, nature hasn’t offered that option up. Now that the birds are chirping and the breeze is beckoning, more and more of us are busting out into the open air to run/cycle/rollerblade/skateboard/you name it. The question that came in from a long-time Ecoholic reader and supporter, Janice, was: what’s all that smog doing to our health when we’re doing this stuff outdoors. For the full answer, check out this week’s Ecoholic. Well, actually it’s not the full, full answer because I didn’t have room to include the results of a new study out this week. News flash: study found exercising outdoors in nature in particular boosts moods, whereas the gym, well, not so much. What, not so surprising? This same week, another study also came out saying that the ozone in smog ups your chance of a heart attack. For the details of that study, click here. All this to say, my advice in the column still stands. Want to find out what I said? Click here. Happy Canada Day long weekend, everyone! I’ll be doing some exercise outdoors myself, but the kind that involves a canoe, a lake and lots of fresh air. If any of you are in the Muskoka area of Ontario, stop by the Huntsville  River Mill farmers’ market on Saturday and say hi. I’ll be there signing books!