Is running good for you really?

Wednesday 08 January 2020
man and lady running in street

‘I’ll feel better afterwards’. It’s January 2020, the start of a new decade and the start of a get fit and get healthy regime for many of us. Health conscious Marketing Manager, Samantha Lee gives us her thoughts after she went for a run.  

On one of my long weekend runs, I was taking in the usual delights of the A47. It was mid-morning and the traffic was strangely busy. An old motorbike went by (ah, the smell of two-stroke oil) and it suddenly made me think; just what else am I breathing in whilst running?

The world is trying to reduce its carbon emissions, so just how much CO2 and other harmful gases am I breathing in whilst running down the road? Should I be wearing a mask to protect me from the harmful gases? Which is more harmful, the wear and tear on my body or the air I breathe? So many questions were running through my head that when I got home, I did a little research.  

According to Wiki and in simplified terms, the composition of the gases I’m inhaling is 78% nitrogen and 21% oxygen (with tiny amounts of argon, carbon dioxide, neon, helium, and hydrogen). However, the composition of the gases I’m exhaling is 74% nitrogen and up to 16% oxygen, but I also exhale around 5% carbon dioxide! And surely as I’m running, I'm inhaling and exhaling more often, so my body is pumping out more than the average ”resting” person. 

Running is a cardiovascular workout, so it’s good for the heart. It's a stress reliever, so it’s good for the mind. We know it’s not so kind to the joints, but we still do it; it’s addictive. In 2018, a study by the British Journal of Sports Medicine concluded that ‘Any amount of running, even just once a week, is better than no running’.

So, in my quest to be fitter and healthier am I then adding to the climate change problem? No of course I’m not just by breathing, but it does make you think. If we can reduce the amount of carbon dioxide emissions from vehicles and industry, could I then emit less carbon dioxide after going for my usual long weekend run? Perhaps I need to talk to the Clean Power Hydrogen (CPH2) engineers to ask how they can reduce my CO2 emissions to help me contribute to the UK governments’ target of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050

This is just a simple view of reducing personal levels of CO2. Much is being said of adopting a flexitarian diet and eating less meat and poultry as well as using our cars less for shorter journeys and in doing so we become healthier, fitter and greener.   

CPH2’s emissions reducing technology for vehicles and generators uses unique and patented hydrogen-based technology. Read more about our low emissions technology and our hydrogen generation technology

Hydrogen is the most common element in the universe, is extremely versatile and can be used as a feedstock to many other chemical processes. And at the end of the process the only by-product is water, water that will hydrate my run maybe. 

A final thought; as for me, will I still be running in 2050? I’ll be approaching my 90th year so probably unlikely, but I’d like to think I’ll still be breathing!