If you are anything like me, every year after watching in awe, at the thousands of people running round London raising millions for charity, you realise that it’s time to dust off your trainers and start pounding the streets! The London Marathon is always a sure sign that summer is fast approaching and it’s time to get that beach body ready!
I am a real fair weather runner and enjoy getting outside on my lunch break for a bit of fresh air and a break from my desk but with reports in January that air pollution levels in London had surpassed those in Beijing am I actually getting the fresh air that I really crave?
Poor air quality has been linked to a number of health issues including heart failure and a number of respiratory diseases such as asthma and the World Health Organisation reported that over 16000 people in the UK die from air pollution related deaths each year.
Client Earth, an activist law firm and The City Bridge Trust are working together to tackle air pollution in the city by educating businesses on the effects of air pollution and what can be done to stop it.
Client Air previously won a high caught ruling against the UK Government when it failed to tackle illegal air pollution across the UK.
“We are committed to supporting Londoners to make the capital a healthier and fairer place to work and live,” said Alison Gowman, chairman of the City of London Corporation’s City Bridge Trust Committee. “We are delighted to have helped so many projects through the fund that are opening up incredible opportunities and enhancing lives.”
4 Ways to avoid the pollution
Run early in the morning or late at night
Running before the morning or after the evening rush hours means there are less pollutants in the air from the cars.
Run when it’s raining
Air pollution is reduced when it’s raining and cold so give running a try in these conditions, you may find you like the rain on your cheeks.
Use the lower pollution route planner
This running route planner for London shows you the best way to get to your destination going through areas with the least pollution - http://www.breathelondon.org/plan-lower-pollution-travel-route
Run away from roads and busy areas
This may not be possible for everyone, but is there a park nearby? Try running round there instead of on or near the busy roads.
However there is some good news, studies show that the positive effects of running outweigh the negative effects of pollution so keep up that running and I hope to be cheering you on in the Marathon next year!