We are very lucky to live in an area where on most days you can look up and see very clear blue skies. However, with this living on the far west coast and sitting in a bowl like we do in the late summer we continue to encounter a smoke-filled environment. For a lot of us this can make it challenging to get outside and exercise, so here are several tips to help you continue on your path to health.

  • Watch the weather.  Sounds simple, but there are trends. For example, this year most mornings the air quality is within the good range or barely in the fair.  If your plan was to go outside now is the time. The afternoon winds were typically bringing smoke into the area and placing the air quality back into the unhealthy ranges.   
  • Next, check the areas around us.  Living in the bowl can be a problem with the heavy pollution but the good news is often it doesn’t take much to get above the smoke level.  Often times heading up to Truckee, Tahoe, or Portola is enough to get you above the smoke level and into better air quality for outdoor activities.
  • Decrease the intensity and length of activity.  The biggest problem is taking harmful particles from the air and into the very sensitive lung tissue.  The exercise and activity that we partake in are designed to keep our heart and lungs healthy especially in 2020, so the last thing you want to do is irritate the lungs because the environment was not conducive to aggressive outdoor activity.
  • Lastly, change your routine.  Plan a couple of days of indoor activity, recovery, or alternative indoor exercise options.  It might be a good time to alter your activity to some indoor riding, swimming, yoga, or even breathing and meditation activities.  You could also incorporate a couple of days of active recovery that include a dynamic warm-up, foam rolling, and stretching that is way overdue to keep the body healthy and ready for the next outdoor adventure.
  • Remember during unhealthy levels keeping the windows closed at night when you sleep is also very important.

Try this quick 15-20 minute bodyweight workout to get you fired up.

Squats 15

Lunges 20 alternating

Push-ups 15

Squat jumps 15

Plank to push-up 15

Lateral lunge 10 alternating

Repeat 3, 4, or 5 times depending on your conditioning.