Smoke pollution, high temperatures and exercise

Posted on December 19, 2019 by

The following advice is targeted at NSWIS athletes, coaches and staff.

High temperatures and bushfire smoke continues to impact Sydney and many regional areas throughout NSW, affecting the daily training environment and competition venues of NSW Institute of Sport athletes.

High smoke pollution triggers inflammation in the airways and will be worse in asthmatics or those involved in high intensity training, where up to 20 x the normal volume of air passes through the lungs each minute.

The AIS have developed high level guidelines to be used by coaches, athletes and medical staff for guiding training decisions. While there may be some disruption to training, the safety and wellbeing of NSWIS athletes must take priority while the smoke pollution continues.

Read the AIS statement on Smoke Pollution & Exercise, which is continually being updated as new medical information becomes available.

Air pollution levels are measured via the Air Quality Index (AQI), a figure calculated for a local region. Hourly and daily readings are provided by NSW health and NSW Environment.

Once AQI levels reach 100, consideration should be given to modifying training time or environment or location and when AQI is >200, training and events involving high intensity activity should be cancelled or delayed, as per last week’s Rowing Australia’s National Time Trial.

Unfortunately, bushfire smoke looks like it will continue to dominate across the summer so it is important to take all practical steps to protect the health of athletes.

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