The effects of smoke from Canada’s wildfires are being felt by outdoor sports enthusiasts in Colorado. High levels of particulate matter in the air led officials at the Colorado Rapids Youth Soccer Club to postpone several games on Friday night, while the organisers of Denver’s Colfax Marathon decided to go ahead with the event. However, some athletes with pre-existing medical conditions, such as asthma, opted to walk instead of run and did not push themselves too hard. Participants are being advised to limit their time outdoors or reduce the intensity of their exercise. Children are particularly at risk, given that their lungs are larger compared to their bodies.
David Buser, a pulmonologist at the National Jewish Medicine Institute, cautioned that the level of exposure to polluted air depends on the time spent outdoors and the intensity of exercise. Activities such as running can lead to more polluted air being inhaled and exhaled compared to gardening or sitting in a chair. People with chronic conditions such as asthma should take regular medication and have an emergency inhaler ready in case symptoms worsen. Those who feel unwell should stay indoors and avoid spending extended periods of time outside.