With the thermostat rising, seems like a good time to mention automobile pollution. Awful. Awful. Awful. There's nothing like running through 80+ degree temps and then getting a full blast of hot exhaust from a passing car.
Fortunately, Time Out New York this week rates some of "NYC's favorite running spots" against pollution. Here's some highlights and comments.
- 3. Central Park: "Try to avoid the loop around the outside and the main thoroughfares." The outside loop part is good advice, but if "the main thoroughfares" refers to the loop, it's closed to traffic on weekends and is a runner haven.
- 4. Riverside Park: "There are plants between you and the highway, which is good." I guess that's something.
- 5. Williamsburg Bridge and 6. Brooklyn Bridge: "There are cars here, but at least they're moving." In addition, there's generally a breeze blowing from the south which I would think would help dissipate some of the exhaust.
- 8. Hudson River Park: "This is such a congested part of town."
- 9. East River Park: Just Bad.
- 10. Queens Bridge Park: "No one should exercise around there."
Finally, just to make this more depressing, breathing auto-exhaust while exercising can lead to "coughing," "irritat[ion of] your lungs ... kind of like getting a sunburn on the inside of your lungs," "cancer and heart problems," and "brittle and weak" lungs.
With all this good news, it's a shame that Albany's going to block congestion taxes. (Although I understand that rerouting that traffic to the FDR will make East River Park even more toxic, charging drivers for the damage they're doing to my lungs seems fair.)
So, enjoy the heat wave folks. But try to exercise really early or indoors because the heat, thanks to certain chemical reactions, only makes the pollution worse.
Today: 8.6 mile Stuyvesant Cove in 1:10:00 (8:08/mile) with 10X100m striders.
UPDATE:The Times ran its own article on air pollution and exercise on Thursday. "In the calculus of health concerns, 'Breathing air pollution is not nearly as bad as smoking,' Dr. Lippmann said." Well, I guess that's comforting.