Despite the gym closures and lockdown inconsistencies, maintaining a healthy lifestyle is an important strategy to protect yourself during the coronavirus pandemic. Even if social media chatters and opinions disagree, reality doesn’t change: The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends wearing a mask or cloth face covering in public, especially in places where it’s difficult Maintaining Social Distance and Mass Masking is an inexpensive and easy way to complement social distancing and other methods of controlling infection rates. Research also shows that gyms are a source of virus transmission, like many other public spaces, and this masking should be part of the practice and training experience. This is especially true if the activity is aerobic.
Researchers at the Rambam Health Care Campus in Haifa, Israel studied the physiological effects of face masks during exercise to evaluate the effects on the student. They found that masking during aerobic exercise had minimal and statistically inconsistent effects on heart rate, breathing rate, breathing, and blood oxygen saturation. However, use of an N95 ventilator indicated an increase in EtCO2 (endtidal carbod dioxide) levels, a measure of carboxy dioxide production and breathing clearance. This increase could also be explained by the fact that when a mask is worn, the exhaled air is inhaled again. Granted, airway exposure to elevated levels of carbon dioxide can degrade performance, cause headaches, confusion, stupor, and increases in heart and breathing rates. Short-term and intermittent exposure can also lead to improvements in respiratory muscle development and better performance.
The research does not examine the effects of wearing masks from a psychological point of view and is not broad enough to draw specific conclusions about any particular populations, given that it is an all-male group of subjects. It is therefore best not to generalize the results. But you can just stay out of the slipstream of anyone exercising vigorously and keep your distance . It used to be called an ounce of prevention, which today looks like a million years ago, at a time when people’s opinions about anything are extremely polarized.
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