The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends wearing a mask to stop COVID-19 transmission.
There’s been concern that they could interfere with breathing, though.
A new study indicates that cloth masks and surgical masks don’t seem to hinder exercise performance.
Experts say, however, that private experiences shouldn’t be discounted.
If you propose to exercise while wearing a mask, you’ll got to reduce your intensity until you adjust.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)Trusted Source, the new coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, that causes COVID-19 is especially transmitted by respiratory droplets.
The best thanks to control these droplets, the CDC says, is to wear a face covering, sort of a cloth mask.
Face masks are somewhat controversial within the us , however, with many expressing concerns about whether or not they can inhibit breathing.
In particular, people have raised questions on whether masks might cause any safety or performance issues during exercise.
But a replacement study within the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health has found that mask wearing appears to possess virtually no detrimental effects during vigorous exercise.
What the study found
In their study, the researchers evaluated both surgical masks and cloth masks since those are commonly available to the overall public. These were compared to wearing no mask in the least .
Fourteen young, healthy adults (seven men and 7 women) took part within the study.
Each study participant completed a cycle ergometry test (riding a stationary bike) to exhaustion while wearing either a surgical mask, cloth mask, or no mask.
Researchers randomly determined in what sequence participants would test each mask.
During testing, participants’ blood oxygen levels were measured via pulse oximetry.
Their tissue oxygenation index was also measured employing a tool called near-infrared spectroscopy in their vastus lateralis, a muscle within the thigh.
When the researchers examined the info from this testing, they found that wearing face masks had no effect on performance (time to exhaustion) or peak power.
There were also no differences found when it came to blood oxygen levels, tissue oxygenation index, perceived workout , or pulse .
Nor was there any detectable negative effect on blood or muscle oxygenation or exercise performance.
What does this study tell us?
Shanina Knighton, PhD, RN, CIC, an infection preventionist and KL2 scholar at Case Western Reserve University, said this study “tells us that exercise performance isn’t impacted by wearing a mask .”
She added that this study is according to other studies that are done on this subject .
She further explained, however, that while it’s going to tell us about how mask wearing affects athletic performance, it “cannot and will not deduct from the lived experience of the individual.”
“There is restricted evidence to support issues for people with asthma or breathing issues. However, it’s important to notice that a lot of people with acute and chronic respiratory conditions even have anxiety or panic attacks,” Knighton said.
“Sometimes the anxiety of feeling restricted from breathing from the masks propagates the trigger or perception of breathing issues,” she said.
Knighton also noted that a lot of studies suggest that folks with respiratory conditions should seek further evaluation before wearing a mask or exercising.
What to understand about wearing a mask during exercise
According to Jenna Moore, MS, CSCS, an assistant director of fitness wellness at Binghamton University, there are three main factors that you simply will got to consider when it involves wearing a face covering during exercise: the sort of exercise (cardio versus strength training), the intensity of the exercise (low versus high), and therefore the sort of face covering you’ll be wearing.
Moore said that cardio exercises like running and cycling are going to be more suffering from mask wearing.
“While face coverings don’t significantly affect oxygen intake, it does affect many individual’s ability to breathe comfortably,” Moore said.
She said people doing this sort of exercise will likely got to lower their intensity initially and take longer recovery breaks.
“However, after a couple of weeks of wearing a face covering during this sort of activity, individuals will acclimate and be ready to work on , or near, their usual intensity levels with little to no impact on performance,” Moore said.
She added that folks performing high-intensity exercise, like high-intensity interval training (HIIT), are the most ones who are going to be affected.
If you’re doing lower-intensity exercise, like basic weight training or going for a leisurely walk, you’ll not feel an equivalent effects from wearing a mask, she said.
Moore cautioned, however, that if you start to feel lightheaded or dizzy, you ought to stop exercising immediately and go somewhere faraway from people so you’ll remove your face covering and catch your breath.
Moore said that disposable, three-ply face masks are recommended for exercise. They’re more breathable and don’t tend to become saturated with sweat and respiratory droplets an equivalent way that cloth masks do.
Moore noted that more and more athletic companies are beginning with face masks geared toward athletic performance, but you’ll got to test out a couple of types until you discover the simplest one for you.
She said you’ll also want to bring a couple of extra masks with you so you’ll change them out if your mask becomes saturated with moisture.
Finally, Moore said, confirm that any face covering you’re wearing covers your nose and mouth. this may do the simplest job in capturing respiratory droplets