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Is urban exercise bad for the brain?

A new study may give individuals who live in cities a reason to purchase a used exercise bike, treadmill or other exercise equipment and move their workouts indoors.

According to Men's Health, researchers in Belgium have found that people who live in a city and exercise outdoors have higher levels of inflammation and lower scores on cognitive tests than those who exercise outside in the suburbs.

The small study followed two groups - 15 people who lived in cities and 9 in rural areas for 12 weeks. Both groups exercised three days per week outdoors and then underwent tests on their response times and attention span.

Researchers point out that even though pollution was found to affect cognition, the benefits of exercise are worth the risk.

Additionally, there are ways those who live in urban areas and prefer outdoor exercising can avoid potentially detrimental pollution. According to researcher Romain Meeusen, braving the elements exercising during windy or rainy weather can help to blow fine particles away. Running in a park or other area where there is a lot of trees and avoiding rush hour-induced air pollution can make exercising outside healthier in cities everywhere as well.
 

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