Is cycling on roads bad for me?

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Thor Håkon Lindstad

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Is cycling on roads bad for me?
« on: 18/07/2010 16:30:02 »
Thor Håkon Lindstad  asked the Naked Scientists:
   
Hello, Naked Scientists!

Being an active person, I spend a couple of hours every day running or road biking this summer. For biking I obviously need roads; roads which are also being driven on by cars. These cars emit a variety of dangerous gases through their exhaust, which I in turn breathe in.

Every time I ride my bike, I do so for 1,5 hours and in that time I am passed by approx. 250 cars.

Does the exhaust from these cars damage my lungs and heart more than my body benefits from the training; making biking in areas with cars pointless?

Greetings from Thor H. Lindstad, 15yrs., Norway

What do you think?
« Last Edit: 18/07/2010 16:30:02 by _system »

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Offline Bored chemist

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Is cycling on roads bad for me?
« Reply #1 on: 18/07/2010 19:02:46 »
I don't know, but I hear that cycling is viewed as healthy here in the UK and I think we have a lot more cars on our roads. So, if it's good here it must be even better there.
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Offline JnA

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Is cycling on roads bad for me?
« Reply #2 on: 19/07/2010 00:38:10 »
Since you could walk, run, cycle or sit in a pram and you would inhale the same compounds I doubt it would have an overall effect of negating the fitness and health benefits of cycling.

Having said that I have no idea how much congestion or pollution is in you area... though I still suspect that the cycling is still beneficial.

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Offline wolfekeeper

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Is cycling on roads bad for me?
« Reply #3 on: 19/07/2010 03:09:17 »
Generally, I believe the effects of the exercise outweigh the effects of any such inhaled hazards. The reason is that heart disease is a really big killer, and that's about the most common cause of death and the exercise helps avoid this.

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Thor Håkon Lindstad

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Is cycling in traffic bad for me?
« Reply #4 on: 19/07/2010 09:30:04 »
Thor Håkon Lindstad  asked the Naked Scientists:
   
Hello, Naked Scientists!

Being an active person, I spend a couple of hours every day running or road biking this summer.

For biking I obviously need roads; roads which are also being driven on by cars. These cars emit a variety of dangerous gases through their exhaust, which I in turn breathe in; every time I ride my bike, I do so for 1,5 hours and in that time I am passed by approx. 250 cars.

Does the exhaust from these cars damage my lungs and heart more than my body benefits from the training; making biking in areas with cars pointless?

Greetings from Thor H. Lindstad, 15yrs., Norway

What do you think?
« Last Edit: 19/07/2010 09:30:04 by _system »