Runners, bikers head inside due to bad air quality

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by Stephanie Zepelin

NWCN.com

Posted on September 21, 2012 at 10:26 PM

BOISE -- During a time of year that is typcially beautiful weather for cycling or trail running, it's no secret in the Treasure Valley that this week has been smokey and that's sending a lot of people inside.

"Ever since the smoke's been going on, there's a lot more people coming into the gym," Axiom Parkcenter Fitness Director Michael Hildebrandt said.

Fitness experts and Idaho Department of Health and Welfare officials say when air levels reach unhealthy levels. Taking a bike ride or run indoors is smart.

"I recommend that any kind of strenuous exercise that you do, that you do inside. Come to the gym, get your exercise done inside, wait til it clears up to enjoy the outdoors," Hildebrandt said.

But even in poor air quality, some athletes are still headed out and many have weekend workout plans too good to break - like the St. Luke's Women's Fitness Celebration 5K. Runners we talked to still plan to go and run.

"I ran last night and it was pretty bad. It was pretty tough to run in it, but I think it should be okay. It's supposed to be pretty clear tomorrow," runner Ashlie Dunbar said.

"I've been a little bit worried, but I don't have asthma or allergies, so I'm still going to run. I don't know if it'll be fast. That's my question. Is it going to be faster? Am I going to be able to run to my potential?" runner Cindy Moretti said.

Event organizers say the race will certainly go on and just remind everyone to go at her own pace and ability, especially in these conditions..

"If their condition would be aggravated by being out in the environment, they just need to be safe," Judy Jones, administrator of St. Luke's Women's Services, said.

"Luckily it's not a marathon or anything like that. Just drink plenty of water, and have fun!" Hildebrandt said.

Celebration organizers have a few tips for staying healthy and breathing easy Saturday. First, if you want to avoid the big hill, they've got a turn-off by the log cabin to bring you straight to finish line festivities without doing the entire 5K. And, if you have an inhaler, bring it with you. There are also medical teams along the route if you run into trouble.

Fitness experts say drinking extra water is key and helps keep lungs clear.

 

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