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Pollution can counteract the benefits of exercise, study suggests



Air pollution can hinder the effects of exercise on the body, a new British study suggests.

As reported by NBC News, researchers at Imperial College London studied 120 people, aged 60 or older, who walked in leafy Hyde Park or along Oxford Street clogged with traffic. Eighty participants had a mild heart or lung disease.

Those who walked through Hyde Park experienced an increase in lung function, as well as a decrease in the speed of the pulse wave, a measure of the rigid arteries. The benefits lasted a full day. "On the contrary, these beneficial responses faded after walking on Oxford Street," wrote Rudy Sinharay and his colleagues.

"Our findings suggest that healthy people, as well as those with chronic cardiorespiratory disorders, should minimize walking on streets with high levels of contamination because this reduces or even reverses the cardiorespiratory benefits of exercise," the researchers wrote.

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Published at 7:34 AM PST on 6/12/2017


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