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Exercising while wearing a mask

Exercise Science
Exercising while wearing a mask!

by Anshul Dhamande With gyms opening almost everywhere in the country, and the guidelines issued by the government, one of the most talked-about topic is ‘Wearing masks during a workout’. There are quite a few studies underway to understand the implications of wearing a mask while working out. The evidence to date points to only minor physiological changes when performing maximal aerobic exercise test without a mask, with a surgical mask, and with an N95 respirator (2). A previous study in 2016 however concludes that it can impact performance too by impacting respirations, thermal equilibrium, feeling of well-being amongst others (1). Studies at preliminary stages are sharing their initial observation of labored breathing in participants while some are also experiencing light-headedness. This is being compared to exercising at higher altitudes where oxygen levels are low. Caution: Wearing a mask can be uncomfortable especially while performing strenuous exercise. For people with pre-existing cardiovascular or respiratory conditions, it can even be dangerous. For people who have lung diseases or breathing issues, they should be very cautious in working out while wearing a mask. Others can start gradually and increase workout intensity over time. Ref: 1.Johnson, A. T. (2016). Respirator masks protect health but impact performance: a review. Journal of biological engineering, 10(1), 1-12. 2.Epstein, D., Korytny, A., Isenberg, Y., Marcusohn, E., Zukerman, R., Bishop, B., ... & Miller, A. (2020). Return to training in the COVID‐19 era: The physiological effects of face masks during exercise. Scandinavian journal of medicine & science in sports.

Ruchika Nathany

Acc to WHO and the govt of India wearing masks especially n 95 during exercises is not recommended.

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