Podcast Episode #59: Should You Stop Exercising In Polluted Areas?

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Click here for the full written transcript of this podcast episode


In this September 6, 2009 free audio episode, I answer listener questions about exercising in polluted areas, what detoxing is and how it works, how to lose muscle mass safely, staying fit when you can't run, what to do if your legs get tired before your lungs do, what exactly processed sugar is, and much more!

Listener Mindy asks: “I am just coming out of a bout of serious over-training – to the point of major pathology: I was forgetting things and actually gained fat! Devastating for someone in my position. But you taught me that this happens. I’ve made some rather dramatic changes to my life to heal myself. Exercise is my passion and my stress release. I have returned to it. I do have a coach helping me to make sure I have guidance. He knows what I did to myself. I understand I need rest and recovery – as a matter of fact, I was feeling tired and took my text book, lay down, and actually ended up sleeping for 2 hours. I feel like that is the right thing to do – sort of like “sleep when baby sleeps” advice when a woman just has a baby. Anyway, are there any special dietary measures and/or supplements that would be beneficial in my recovery?”

In my response to Mindy, I reference the post “18 Ways to Make Your Body Heal Like Wolverine From X-Men”

Listener Matt asks: “I've just discovered your website and podcast and absolute love it. Very relevant and, more importantly, very inspiring. I've just started getting into triathaons (olympic distance). I've always played competitive sports and have spent a lot of time bodybuilding. I weigh 220lbs and stand at 6'1 although not quite at the 3% bodyfat you mentioned you were once at. At the Malibu tri last year I was passed and subsequently beaten by a super clydesdale (225+lbs) who looked like a bodybuilder and his final time was 20 minutes better then mine. I've starting to find as I keep the balance of weights and specific tri training my knees are starting to suffer on the runs. Can I have the best of both worlds or do I have to put the weights aside and lose some mass to be able to continue to enjoy triathlons?”

In my response, I talk to Matt about how to lose muscle effectively and safely.

Listener Tammy asks: “Ben, I have a suggestion for your podcast.  I am very interesting in the benefits of juicing fruits and vegies vs. just eating them.  I know that by juicing you lose the fiber because you don't get the pulp, but is there anything else?  Is juicing better for you or not?”

Listener Chuck asks: “Hey Mr. Greenfield, I hope all is going well– it seems like everytime I read something on endurance training, there is an article by you! I was hoping to get you advice on my training for the next few weeks.  This Sunday, the 6th, I am doing the Virginia Beach Rock n' Roll half marathon. The following sunday I am racing an International distance triathlon is Williamsburg.  The week after that I have a sprint triathlon at the beach followed by another international race the week after. Then another international following that.  Finally, 2 weeks from then I have the Men's Health Urbanathlon in Chicago which is a 10-mile adventure race.  So the Schedule looks like this: Sept 6: half marathon; Sept 13: International tri Sept 20: Sprint Tri; Sept 27: International Tri; Oct 3: International Tri; Oct 18: 10-mile adventure run. How do I train in order than I can still compete at my best but recover from each race and not burn out?  I'd love your advice, thanks a lot for the all the help you've given me.  I look forward to hearing from you.”

Listener Kev asks: “Ben, just a quick update.  Pulled the calf muscle apart somehow, prob over training and doing this all year.  So went and saw PT yesterday and they told me to NO RUNNING for 3 weeks so I'm done for now.  Here's pic so you can see what it looks like and exactly what I'm talking about.  So do you have any recommendations to keeping running fitness up when I can't run?  Should I just do water running instead?  If so, how long?  15-20 mins?”

In my response to Kevin, I reference a blog post that I wrote about aqua jogging and water running.

Listener Mark asks: “I'm going to take your advice on the processed sugar elimination – but where do you think it could be coming from if this is the issue?  Like yogurt or cereal?  And what exactly do you mean by processed sugar?  Is that different than say brown sugar that I would add to oatmeal?  I don't really eat trail mix so I can count that out–obviously you can tell I'm pretty fat-phobic, but I'm working on it.  Would it be a good idea to try and healthily raise my body fat some?  (Honestly, the low body fat has already caused me to have low testosterone, like you said).”

Listener Brad asks: “When I train its mostly high intensity type of work.  I think because of that, I often feel like my legs are more tired than my lungs/cardio system. So while I feel like I'm in shape enough to keep working out, my legs say “no”.  I can do the elliptical or something but some days I just can't do a run even if feel like I'm in “good enough shape” to do so.  Any advice?”

Listener Christine asks: “I read a study (posted here) that says the body can absorb magnesium through bathing in Epsom salt. This caught my eye as I'm on a very tight budget and this seems to be an economical way of getting mag. into my system. Your thoughts?”

In my response to Christine, I mention magnesium sulfate vs. chloride, and my original answer to listener Eric in Podcast Episode #56 to a similar question.

Listener Tommy asks: “Do detox products really work? How does the body get rid of toxins? WHAT ARE TOXINS!? From my understanding the  liver and kidneys do just fine with healthy individuals. Thanks Ben.”

In my response to Tommy, I reference the “gentle detox” that I personally use, a combination of Oil of Oregano and Enerprime (click here to read more about how I do this).

Listener Mohamed asks: “I'm an amateur triathlete living in Cairo, Egypt. If you've ever been here before or heard of it you'll know that it's ridiculously polluted. It seemed like walking in the streets before didn't give me a problem, but now just standing in a place of congestion I find that the pollution really affects me. I have to keep several tissues over my mouth or at least my hand otherwise I get into a coughing fit. I spent several months in France in the summer and had no trouble with the “regular” amount of congestion and pollution that exists there. So it's not asthma or anything like that.  I'm concerned that this kind of exposure would really affect my lungs and my performance. Keeping in mind that a lot of the cars aren't well maintained and besides CO2 a lot of carbon monoxide is released as well as unburnt fuel and other exhaust materials. Do you think it necessary to fully preserve my lungs to consistently wear products like Respro? Any other tips on how to handle living in a place like this?”

Do you have a question? Remember, you can now ask your questions via *audio* to me via the free Skype software by simply “Skyping” me at username “pacificfit“. You can also call toll free to 1-877-209-9439 and leave a voicemail for Ben Greenfield.


Special Announcements:2010AustinTriCampLogo

1. Click here to get the full scoop on the brand new Pacific Elite Fitness Triathlon Training Camp in Austin, Texas – including registration details, itinerary, food, training, activities and much more!

2. Check out the video below for an interview with Dr. Carolyn Dean, who appeared on the BenGreenfieldFitness podcast in Episode #54 and has some very interesting information to share in this rather sad and catastrophic, yet realistic video interview about modern medicine (warning: get comfortable, it's about an hour long).

3. Upcoming interviews for Podcast Episodes #60 & #61…

-Podcast Episode #60: Ben Greenfield will be interviewing Dr. William Davis, the author of “Track Your Plaque: The only heart disease prevention program that shows how the new CT heart scans can be used to detect, track, and control coronary plaque”.  As a practicing cardiologist, Dr. Davis became deeply dissatisfied with the conventional approach to heart disease and created the Track Your Plaque program to help others apply new technology in heart disease prevention. He is the Medical Director of Milwaukee Heart Scan and is a member of the Nutritional Magnesium Association. Dr. Davis is dedicated to promoting early detection and prevention of heart disease and invites you to get more information that will help you avoid the heart health risk factors of magnesium deficiency.

-Podcast Episode #61 – Ben Greenfield will be interviewing Dr. Winston Kao – Biologist, Agra Researcher/Consultant and Inventor of the “Go Beyond Organic,” farming technology, which increases healthy soil microbial activity and rehabilitates soil structure so that it produces highly nutritious food, far in excess of current organic standards. With over 23 years of research Mr. Kao has pioneered advanced soil-based microorganism technology and water restructuring technology and has developed a method to “neutralize” sea water so that 8% to 25% sea water could be used in agriculture to enhance the health and nutrition of crops, with no leaf burn due to high salt content. Mr. Kao has also developed a method to break down rock dust rapidly. (+/- 9 months) for the purpose of soil remineralization which applications resulted in tomato plants growing over 12-14 feet tall, broccoli harvested over 11 times from the same plant, and an experimental orange tree that produced 1200 to 1400 oranges for 3 years consecutively. Mr. Kao's work in hydroponics resulted in the first ever truly “organic” method of hydroponics. 100% non-toxic. (The standard hydroponics used today, uses the most toxic forms of pesticides.)


That’s all for this week. Be sure to leave our podcast a rating in iTunes! Just click here to go to our iTunes page and leave feedback! Finally, remember all the time put into producing this podcast for you, and consider donating to our show (we’ll throw in a free T-shirt)!

Ask Ben a Podcast Question

6 thoughts on “Podcast Episode #59: Should You Stop Exercising In Polluted Areas?

  1. Lou Dregely says:

    Thanks Ben for posting the video. Carolyn, talked about the importance of magnesium. You also talked about it in some of your shows. I would like to know what is a good oral supplement type to take? Thanks, Lou

  2. Drew says:

    Great podcast this week, Ben. Love the variety. On a somewhat related note to the pollution question, I have a question that also relates to the harmful chemicals of our modern day world.

    Let’s suppose that an athlete is on a tight budget and honestly cannot afford to buy organic produce. Let’s suppose he/she can only afford non-organic produce. Do you think it might be better in this case to forgo produce altogether and consume the necessary vitamins and minerals from other sources? In other words, does ingesting huge amounts of harmful pesticides and/or genetically modified produce outweigh the benefits the produce may provide? Thanks, Ben!

  3. Peter says:

    Hi Ben,

    Got a more general question in regards to the IM/ Half IM bike leg. When ever I listen to the pros talking via podcasts, they always mention, “riding with/being dropped from the group”. Are they talking about riding together with a 3 bike length gap, or are they just straight out drafting.

    Also, noticed the the WTC have introduced anti-doping laws across the board for pro and Age group qualifiers. I’d like to know your thoughts on what percent of people are actually cheating, both pro and age grouper. Do we have a big problem in our sport?


  4. Chuck says:

    Awesome podcast this week Ben! Thanks for answering all my questions and I learned a lot from the other answers you have too

  5. Tommy Nosek says:

    Great podcast Ben,
    Thank you for covering my question on detoxing. Aside from harzardous conditionis I never considered environmental factors to cause oxidation in the body. I’ll look into Oil of Oregano supplement you recommend, and do a google search on other detox supplements as well.
    Thanks again Ben,

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