ASHLAND, Ore. --Local gyms are noticing a rise in attendance due to increased concern over poor air quality. It's no secret that Oregonians love the outdoors but when smoke pushes people inside, outdoor fitness advocates are forced to make adjustments to their workout routine.
"Typically in the summer our numbers will kind of dwindle but with the smoke being so heavy people are trying to do more indoor activities,"said John David Snell, a manager and coach with CrossFit Inconceivable. "Our attendance has been a little higher than normal."
While some people opt to take their chances in the smoke, local doctors warn prolonged exposure to poor air quality could mean long-term health impacts.
"Anytime we are inhaling those smoke particles, they can get embedded deep into the lungs and they're full of toxins and things that are really bad for you," said Dr. Nicole Brooks with Providence Medford Medical Center. "Then you have that being processed into your system and it can actually cause lung damage. And in some cases, prolonged exposure has been linked to premature death."
NewsWatch 12 reached out to several gyms in the area, which reported higher attendance of people looking to escape the smoke. That includes Village Fitness, which opened its doors to student athletes who can't practice outside.
To find out how the smoke is impacting local athletes at CrossFit Inconceivable, watch the clip above.