Running along the road

Most people I know who run, run for health reasons. Some run to lose weight, some run to strengthen their body, some run to pass their fitness test. Few run because they love running. Now what if this healthy activity they engage in cause them other kinds of health problems?

Whenever I see anybody running along the road in the evening, I will shake my head and wonder how healthy they got. Running is an aerobic exercise, and aerobic exercices tend to draw air deep into your lungs. Along with the fumes and soot of the evening rush hour. Remember the advertisement about the box drawn on the road to show how much tar is sucked into a smoker’s lungs in his lifetime? I think a regular runner who pounds the pavement during the evening rush hour will probably find his lungs coated with a layer of soot, and his bloodstream filled with fumes. Imagine all those fumes being sent into your brain when your body is deprived of oxygen and in a weakened state!

During the haze that struck earlier in the year, I took to running in the air-conditioned gym instead of on the running track. I don’t have asthma or any other breathing difficulty, but I decided that I need not test my body’s ability to deal with irritants. I would rather breathe in the filtered gym air that is slightly lacking in oxygen than to suck in the haze and powder-bathe my lungs. After the haze, I realised that running on the treadmill is different from running on the track. I could run farther while on the treadmill, because my legs are only keeping me in place, they need not work as hard because they are not pushing me forward. I could not run as far when I took to running on the track again. I’d better make it a point to run on the track while I can.

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