Is it healthy to workout outside during summer in the UAE ?

July 15, 2022

You might enjoy running outside in the “natural” air, but is it doing you more harm than good? Living in a big city often comes with poor quality of air, from traffic fumes to burning fossil fuels. And when it gets hot, it’s even less bearable. The UAE has “unhealthy” levels of pollution during summer due to the extreme high temperatures and humidity, causing the already high amount of pollution to get trapped in the air. Air quality is one of the key issues in the UAE National Vision agenda.

9 out of 10 people breathe contaminated outdoor air that exceeds the acceptable levels set by the World Health Organization guidelines.

During a period of high intensity exercise, your ventilation rate can be multiplied by up to 10. That means the amount of air you’re breathing in significantly increases. So when this air contains harmful pollutants such as sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide and ozone, to name a few, it’s certainly not something you want to be absorbing.

Harmful particles in the air can increase pollen allergies and, more scarily, they can amplify the carcinogenic effects of other harmful substances such as tobacco. Smaller particles can even get into the bloodstream and damage the arteries.

So you don’t want to exercise outside, but you need to move your body in order to stay fit and healthy. Here’s how you can stay safe and cool this summer.


  1. Work out indoors in a well-ventilated environment : Find a gym or studio that you love, like Motion, to stay active during the summer months.
  2. Avoid going outside for long periods of time : Limit the time you spend outside, especially during the hottest and peak polluted times.
  3. Drink plenty of water : You sweat a lot more during summer and the extreme heat can very quickly lead to dehydration so make sure you drink back what you’re losing, especially after a workout.
  4. Get an air purifier : Filter the air in your home or office and avoid opening windows so that you can breathe in clean, safe air.
Is it healthy to do sport outside during summer ?