Tips For Wearing A Mask While Exercising
Tips For Wearing A Mask While Exercising

One method of reducing the spread of infectious diseases, such as COVID-19, is to wear a mask. However, many people believe that wearing a mask while trying to exercise could be a hindrance, especially when doing so away from home.

These inquiries can assist you in determining the safest way to go about staying active, regardless of whether you are already at ease wearing a mask while exercising or are wary of doing so.

The following information applies to adults who are able to self-monitor while exercising:

Is It safe To Exercise While Wearing A Mask?

Yes, wearing a mask while exercising is safe. Wearing a mask during moderate to strenuous aerobic physical activity does not significantly affect your heart rate, respiratory rate, blood pressure, oxygen level, or time of exhaustion, according to new research.

Depending on the activity, is there a preferred type of mask that I should wear?
Cloth masks or masks made of a moisture-wicking material, such as polyester, typically work well. Mask material should be no more than two layers thick or less. Unfortunately, surgical masks may break down, as they become wet from sweat and increased exhalation that occurs during exercise.

Aside from the mask breakdown, the use of surgical or N95 respirators has been found to be safe with minimal effects on major performance factors, such as heart rate, respiration rate, blood pressure and oxygen saturation (SO2) during aerobic training.

Previous research has shown that wearing N95 respirators while active can cause changes in body temperature, increased breath resistance, and some discomfort. While not dangerous or affecting overall performance, these responses should be taken into account when selecting the right style of mask for you and your needs.

Additionally, you might want to think about keeping an extra mask on hand to swap out a damp mask. Carrying a small bottle of hand sanitizer with you is a great way to maintain good hand hygiene while changing masks.

Will wearing a mask affect my exercise Performance?
No. Research has determined that surgical masks and cloth masks have no effect on time to exhaustion or peak power.

Who should not use a mask while exercising?
It is safe to wear a mask while exercising for most people. However, if you have a chronic lung disease, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, mesothelioma or pulmonary hypertension, talk with your health care provider before attempting any physical activity while wearing a mask.

What should happen when exercising with a mask on?
The first time you wear a mask while exercising, you may feel awkward or uneasy. This is normal, and it may be similar to how you felt while wearing a mask at work, school, or shopping. These feelings should fade with time. There will be no difference in your aerobic or anaerobic performance overall.

If you start to feel any of these symptoms while exercising, stop and take a break until they subside:

Overall discomfort
Fatigue
Dizziness
Headache
Significant shortness of breath
Muscular weakness
Drowsiness

If your symptoms continue or worsen, stop the activity. In serious cases, seek medical help.

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