Taiwanese doctor suggests exercising before 7 a.m. or indoors to shun poor air 

Doctor Lin Chien-liang (林健良) at Pingtung Christian Hospital suggested that members of the public in the county exercise outdoors around 6 a.m. and 7 a.m. or else exercise indoors during the smog season

Doctor Lin suggested that members of the public consider exercising outdoors around 6 a.m. and 7 a.m. (photo by CNA)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News)—As Pingtung County is one of the areas in Taiwan that have been severely affected by smog during winters, doctor Lin Chien-liang (林健良) at Pingtung Christian Hospital suggested that members of the public in the county exercise outdoors around 6 a.m. and 7 a.m. or else exercise indoors during the smog season.    

After the smog season begins, many people in Pingtung, especially elderly people and people who are sensitive to air quality, usually want to continue exercising but can’t find the right places and right times to engage in outdoor exercises. They usually end up cutting down on time spent exercising outdoors.

Doctor Lin said he doesn’t recommend exercising during hours of poor air quality because that even wearing a mask cannot filter out dirty air. He suggested that people take a look of the real time air quality index (AQI) on Environmental Protection Administration’s Air Quality Monitoring Network during the smog season before going out to exercise. He said people can exercise outdoors around 6 a.m. or 7 a.m. because the air quality during these hours is not too poor, or they can consider indoor exercises, such as hitting the gym, yoga, climbing stairs or farmer's walks.     

If time permitted, people can also go to less polluted areas, such as Kenting, to engage in outdoor activities, Lin added.   

Cheng Hung-ren (陳宏仁), air pollution prevention department director of Pingtung County Environmental Protection Bureau, said air quality index is a good reading of air quality, with a value under 100 meaning moderate or good air quality, 100 to 150 meaning unhealthy for sensitive groups, and above 150 meaning unhealthy for all groups. When a reading is under 100, it is good for outdoor activities, he added.