Earlier today I got this Tweet.
This got me to look up facts rather than going by gut feel alone. This is what I stumbled up on.
So what do all these numbers mean and how healthy is it to be out there? Remember to focus on the purple section. And brown too if you happen to be living or running in and around Anand Vihar.
The advisory for purple section basically is that you shouldn't be outdoors doing any exertional physical activities. Yes. No running either.
Now, this puts me in a very awkward position. Last year was doing a series over 4 months for Hindustan Times on training for Half and Full Marathon and also a podcast on running with Mint newspaper. In my last article and podcast before Delhi Half Marathon, I advised everyone not to run. Some thought that was very awkward as I am someone who is always telling folks to exercise and run.
I am in a similar situation this time round. I am doing weekly FacebookLive and articles in Mint building up to ADHM. Yes, the air is slightly better than last year but pretty pathetic. Simply not good enough to be running or doing other exercises outdoors.
Ajay Bahl, a renowned Chartered Accountant - Lawyer, a patient of mine, had a very interesting thing to say. "Rajat is someone who has running as treatment for all aches and pains. He told me last year not to run because of the pollution. At the end he caved in when I told him i wanted to run. I ended up running Delhi Half Marthon with a mask. I'm glad I did."
There were other running friends too who ran with masks. The thing is mask is not helpful enough. You know the air is bad, actually very bad, and you still want to run. Don't then look at health as a reason for you doing that activity. You are doing it because you are passionate about running. It works for you. Good for you, even though it is bad for you. There is no law against running in pollution but there is a law against riding a two wheeler without a helmet, so I can't really stop you. But I definitely wouldn't recommend it.
I think wearing masks for running outdoors when the air is badly polluted is similar to entering a building on fire with a fireproof suit which only lets you burn 50% and no more. If you stay away, you don't burn. But that's too complicated for most of us.
Do indoor indoor exercises. You don't have to hit them gym. There are enough body weight exercises. Get on with those. Use next month or two to build a solid base so you can do justice to your running and perform at your optimal best when you do run races. Here are some exercises that I strongly recommend for all. Easy to do stuff at home, office and even in cars.
I can be found running, but its simply not for health, it's because of... You need to watch the video below to know.
But then again, whether you believe it or not, you are going to die anyways. Might as well die doing something you love. Most things you love are hazardous for you anyways. Enjoy! Get a High!
And Jayadeep had some great advice for all.
But then again, as Jerry Lee Lewis would say, 'If I'm going to hell, I'm going there playing the piano.'