There's a reason you feel out of breath when you're exercising.
While you're running, biking, or doing any other form of cardio, your muscles are working hard behind the scenes. In response, your body requires a greater amount of oxygen and produces more carbon dioxide than normal. If the air around you is less than pure, you'll notice it immediately.
Today, we're sharing a few reasons why it's beneficial to breathe clean air while you're working out or breaking a sweat. Read on to discover how big of a role your environment plays. Could it even make your workouts more effective?
Your Lungs and Exercise: The Connection to Understand
To stay healthy, most experts recommend that you engage in 30 minutes of light physical activity five days per week. This can include any form of exercise, from cycling to sprinting. From children to senior adults, almost anyone can benefit from making it a point and priority to move their body, warm up their muscles, and keep their joints lubricated.
While you're engaged in any form of exertion, you might notice that it's easy to carry a conversation at first. For instance, you can walk at a brisk pace for a short while and still feel relatively comfortable.
Yet, you'll soon notice that this dialogue becomes more difficult and stressed the longer you move your body. With time, you might find that you cannot speak to your workout partner at all! This is because exercise directly affects your lung capacity.
While you're exercising, you're engaging two of your body's most important organs: your lungs and your heart.
As your lungs bring oxygen into your body to supply it with fuel, they also remove carbon dioxide. This is the waste product that your body creates when you generate energy. Meanwhile, your heart pumps that newly supplied oxygen to your muscles.
As you intensify the workout, your body effectively requires a higher amount of oxygen to continue. Likewise, it produces more carbon dioxide. Combined, these two events cause you to begin breathing more rapidly.
In fact, while you normally breathe around 15 times per minute, you could breathe around 40 to 60 times per minute when you're exercising. That's an increase from 12 liters of air to 40 liters! At the same time, your circulation also quickens, as your heart must work faster to supply your muscles with the oxygen they need to continue.
Why Do I Need to Breathe Clean Air During Exercise?
Now that you know what's going on inside your body when you exercise, let's pose the all-important question: Why does air quality matter?
If you're working out indoors, this issue is paramount. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) explains that indoor air pollutants can often be two to five times more concentrated than typical outdoor concentrations. While these conditions can affect anyone around, they're especially dangerous to the following vulnerable populations:
- People with asthma
- People with diabetes
- People with heart or lung conditions
- Younger children
- Older adults
If you're exercising in an area with poor air quality, you increase your health risk.
The reason is simple: As you work out, you're not only breathing in more air, but you're also inhaling it more deeply into your lungs. Thus, any contaminants are forced into your body at a greater pace and higher capacity than normal.
Moreover, you're also more likely to breathe through your mouth when you exercise, due to humans' natural tendency to pant when under physical stress. You can't take as much air in through your nose, so you'll instinctively compensate by mouth breathing.
This means that the air you're intaking is going straight into your body without bypassing your nasal passages first. As soon as you breathe it in, it passes through your larynx (or voice box) and straight to your vocal cords. From there, it travels to your trachea (windpipe) and finally, to your left and right main bronchus.
These are the passageways that take the air to your lungs. Once they receive it, your bronchi take the air to their smaller branches (bronchiole) and then deliver them to their final destination: your alveoli. These are small sacs inside of your lungs that work to divide the air into oxygen and carbon dioxide. Contaminants can stick around throughout this entire process.
When you're not exercising, you're more likely to breathe in your nose, where the microscopic hairs in your nose (called cilia) work to filter out most particles of airborne pollution.
How Air Purification Helps
You don't have to abandon your home gym or your favorite local workout center if you're concerned about the air quality around you. Today, there are products designed to instantly cleanse your environment and help you breathe more easily.
A change could be as easy as investing in the solutions that make your exercise space as clean as possible. Let's take a closer look at two emerging technologies changing the game.
One example is the Breathe Safe. This portable plasma ion generator offers a unique and innovative way to introduce more oxygen into your air. Compatible with any voltage, it can boost ambient oxygen levels between 70% and 118%, depending on the environment. While it runs, it can also add approximately 23,500,000 ions per cubic centimeter!
How does it work?
The Breathe Safe is comprised of a blend of more than 19,000,000 negative ions and 4,400,000 positive ions. Together, these ions create an invisible plasma cloud that works to successfully break down air pollutants and contaminants around you. In their place, it leaves behind an abundance of negative ions, as well as pure, clean oxygen that your body is better able to intake and absorb.
In laboratory tests, our team found that the Breathe Safe was able to eliminate the following from indoor air:
- 46.1% of bacteria
- 99.68% of particulates
- 86.4% of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), formaldehyde, benzenes, and other toxins
The best part? When your workout is over and it's time to head to the infrared sauna, you can bring your Breathe Safe along! When used alongside sauna therapy, this machine can be used as a sauna ion generator, allowing you to inhale at least 20,000 ions per cubic centimeter, doubling your sweat volume and maximizing your results.
Many gym owners or homeowners turn to commercial, off-the-shelf products to combat the stinky aroma that can result from exercising indoors. This usually means stocking up on wall plug-ins and air purifiers. While these might smell fine at first, it's critical to understand the health risk they pose.
Research reveals that 20% of the U.S. population has experienced some sort of adverse effect from using an indoor air freshener. Unfortunately, even ones labeled as "green" or "organic" could emit potentially hazardous chemicals.
The same studies show that fewer than 10% of all air purifier ingredients are shared with the public, though the ones that are disclosed are more than concerning. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has declared many such chemicals and VOCs as known carcinogens. From acetaldehyde to formaldehyde, these are serious substances that you shouldn't breathe in at any time, much less when your body is pushed to its limit and desperate for clean oxygen!
With a product like our Ionic Refresher, you can officially toss your plug-in air freshener. Not only does it eliminate the need to purchase expensive refills, but it also eliminates even the most stubborn odors from your workout environment, including cigarette smoke!
The Ionic Refresher is a negative ion generator. Its effectiveness lies in the negative ions that it produces, making it the ultimate air purification solution! Capable of sterilizing 90% of the air around you in just two hours, it emits more than 32,000 negative ions per cubic centimeter, thanks to a special carbon fiber tip that boosts the ions' efficiency. In turn, this strengthens the machine's sterilizing and antimicrobial capabilities.
Breathe Easier and Exercise More Efficiently
No one wants to feel out of breath while they're exercising. No matter how hard you're pushing yourself, how much weight you're lifting, or how many miles you plan to run, you should be able to breathe clean air that your body can use to help you power through your workout.
With devices like the Breathe Safe and Ionic Refresher, you can rest assured that you'll always have access to a safe and effective air purification system as you exercise. The next time you feel like breaking a sweat, plug it in and let it work while you do.
Looking for more advice on ways to make the air around you as clean and contaminant-free as possible? We've got you covered. We'll also give you access to the cutting-edge purification technologies that are making this pursuit more attainable than ever before. Check back often for updates and let's connect!