COVID-19: Here's what happens when you wear a face mask while exercising

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Face Mask
Face Mask

New Delhi : Since the outbreak of coronavirus, we've all been stuck at home and trying to maintain our health and fitness with light home workout sessions. This global pandemic has changed our lives and our lifestyle drastically. The COVID-19 outbreak taught us some important life lessons and while it has been disastrous for us humans, this pandemic has greatly benefitted our environment and natural resource. This seems like the universe's way of taking back everything that we humans tried to damage.

Most countries tried to contain this highly contagious virus by implementing a countrywide lockdown which in turn left everyone stuck inside their home but now that the restrictions are being eased and the lockdown is slowly being lifted, people have begun to step out of their homes to get their daily dose of workout. But due to the current situation, most of us try to take precautions by wearing a mask while we workout but this is not very healthy for our body. We've all heard about the reports of the man whose lungs collapsed after he pushed himself to run too much while wearing a mask.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) as well as the experts, exercising with our mask on can do more harm than good. When we work out our heart rate increases and our body requires more oxygen but wearing a mask can restrict our airflow and reduce the oxygen levels. It can also increase our heart rate and cause dehydration, dizziness and sometimes even cardiac problems. Dr P. Raghu Ram, President of The Association of Surgeons of India, says that exercising while wearing a face mask can result in hyperventilation and reduce brain function. "Wearing a mask during exercise will act as a barrier to airflow, which can lower the oxygen levels in the re-circulated air. Also, more carbon dioxide exhaled during exercise can potentially get trapped by the mask and when it is re-inhaled, it can further cause excessive breathing or hyperventilation and reduce brain function. This can manifest as confusion and loss of consciousness as well," he explains in a conversation with NDTV.

Wearing a mask while you hit the gym or go for a run can cause discomfort while breathing. It is important to remember that we tend to sweat a lot when we exercise and our breath is always very hot and a mask can soak all the sweat and become damp and warm which makes it even more difficult to breathe. This also makes it a breeding ground for microorganisms and puts us at a major health risk. This could also damage our respiratory system or even cause your lungs to collapse. This is why we all need to avoid working out in public places and try to maintain at least 6 feet distance while we work out in public places. You can also opt for disposable masks or cloth mask while exercising because not doing so can lead to major health problems and put you at the risk of respiratory problems. If you do wish to wear a proper mask, remember to pull it down when you exercise and if you see someone coming your way simply pull it up and stay protected.