Is It Safe to Exercise if the Air Is Hazy With Wildfire Smoke?

Should we exercise outside when the air is smoky? With smoke and ash from major wildfires still blanketing portions of California and the Northwest and murky plumes wafting across the nation, that issue is top of the mind for many of us and likely to remain a concern well into the future.

To learn more about exercise and smoke, I talked with pulmonologists, physiologists, biostatisticians and other scientists. What follows are their expert opinions about whether it might be better to stroll or streak through smoke; which masks help; when to move workouts indoors; and if we should bring our dogs along to exercise in the haze.

Before deciding whether to exercise outside, we should know what inhaled smoke may do to our insides. The details are not reassuring.

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