© Getty Images

© Getty Images

Only break a sweat if you check this one thing first

Yes, there really could be a “right” time to work out.

You might enjoy exercising at night to blow off steam after a long day at work, but you could be exposing your body to high levels of unwanted pollution, without knowing it.

We’re all well aware what pollution can do to our skin (free radicals attack, breaking down collagen, which leads to premature aging like wrinkles and fine lines), so it may be wise to double check the pollution levels before lacing up those running shoes.

How to check for pollution

If you work out inside, then automatically you’re less exposed to pollution. However, if you like to do your HIIT sessions in the park or going for a jog outside to get – what you think is fresh air – it’s important to log onto a site like AQICN or downloading an application like Air Visual which displays pollution levels for your city in real-time. If you’re not convinced that you need to take the time to do your research before your run, studies have shown that air pollution could potentially impact your performance, like impeding muscle coordination and perception of time.

How to arm yourself against free radicals

Even if you go outside when pollution levels are low, you’re still at risk for a free radical attack. While you may not be able to escape them, there are plenty of things you can do to protect yourself and keep your radiant and youthful complexion. Make sure to thoroughly cleanse your skin morning and night with a cleanser or cleansing water like Biosource Cleansing Micellar Water, and apply a healthy dose of sunscreen – extra points if you choose one that reflects what type of person you are! Also, eat plenty of foods rich in Vitamin E and Omega-3, like fatty fish, chia seeds and walnuts. According to a study, it’s very important to add broccoli sprouts to your diet as well – they may be able to help the body rid itself of air pollutants at an even faster rate.

Plan your workouts and the time you do them wisely, to ensure that they will be nothing but beneficial to your health.

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