Haze condition for the current month

It is the time of the year when the seasonal smoke haze from Sumartra spreads to our island air due to changes in wind conditions. As of yesterday (3 September 2015), the National Environment Agency released a haze situation update stating that the air quality is in the Moderate range, of PSI readings ranging from 51-100. A good air quality PSI reading should fall between 0-50.

While it is still safe to head outdoors and resume your physical activities, there are just some information and tips you want to take note of to prevent the haze from ruining your perfect day out!

The Singapore skyline at 4.30pm on Sept 3, 2015 when the 3-hour PSI was 94. (Image credit: The Straits Times)
The Singapore skyline at 4.30pm on Sept 3, 2015 when the 3-hour PSI was 94. (Image credit: The Straits Times)

How it affects you

With a high moderate to low unhealthy air quality, the health effects vary from person to person, depending on their health status and length of exposure outdoors.

People with existing respiratory conditions, allergy to dust or smog particles, chronic lung or heart disease might experience some discomfort at the current state of air quality. The elderly, children and pregnant women should also avoid prolonged or strenuous outdoor physical activities and head for regular medical checkups.

Runners and outdoor activists should also be alert and wary of the haze conditions before deciding to head out for long periods of sports and physical activities. Some runners might experience common and mild symptoms of irritated eyes, skin and nose, dry and inflamed throat or even occasional breathing difficulties despite being a healthy person.

As such, let us arm ourselves with the following basic tips to run free and happy!

Image credit: 123RF
Image credit: 123RF

Tips for runners:

Check before you go

PSI Readings over the last 24 hours in Singapore can be accessed via NEA website, the haze microsite. Users can also follow NEA on the official NEA Facebook page and NEA Twitter (@NEAsg), or download the myENV app. The PSI for North, South, East and West of Singapore will be reflected, as well as the general trend of the haze condition throughout the day.

According to the readings the past few days, the PSI readings are most favourable in the mornings (6am) to midday and worsen as night time approaches (approximately 8pm onwards). With these useful information, you can plan where and when to run in Singapore with lesser haze and have an enjoyable run.

Stay hydrated inside out

During the haze season, you would notice that your skin, throat and eyes might show signs of irritation. Troubled and dry skin are caused by the pollutants in the air that can clog your pores and lead to itchiness, flaking and dryness. The haze also traps UV rays in the atmosphere, intensifying the effects of UV rays. As such, do remember to hydrate regularly by drinking sufficient amounts of water, apply skin moisturizers if required and include more succulent or water-rich foods in your diet such as apples and tofu.

For heaty symptoms or throat irritation, home remedies such as honey lemon, lozenges, anti-inflammatory foods like whole grains, nuts and fish can ease the discomfort.

Image credit: 123RF
Image credit: 123RF

Protect your eyes

If you have dry eyes, bring along some eye drops with you when heading out so that you can moisturize and wet your eyes on the go. Those who are wearing contact lenses, it is also recommended that you practice proper hygiene when cleaning the lenses and avoid contamination of wash solution.

In addition, you can consider the option of purchasing a pair of sports sunglasses to reduce the amount of exposure to dust and pollutants that might result in itchy and sore eyes. These glasses have polarized lenses which can provide UV ray protection for your eyes as well. Check out the list of sports accessories at our online shop here.

Indoor and cross-training

In times like these, our treadmills become our best friends because they seem to offer the next best alternative for runners where they can still continue with their trainings, minus the haze and unfortunately the fun as well.

Moreover, runners can head for cross-training activities that offer the same level of intensity as running such as spinning classes, yoga, zumba or even swimming. To find out where is the nearest and most ideal indoor sports facilities, gyms and fitness events, use our gym listing and fitness events calendar!

Let us combat the haze situation and continue running to our heart’s content!