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Here’s why you should NEVER exercise with your mask on

Published on:19 May 2020, 09:17am IST
You might think that working out with your mask on can help you stay protected from covid-19, but really what it does is put you at the risk of greater ailments.
Nikita Bhardwaj
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Masks and exercise are a match made in hell. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

You must have seen a lot of people strolling and jogging in the park with their masks on. Yes, masks are an important tool to prevent a covid-19 infection. So, taking this relevant precaution while working out in the open makes sense, but it doesn’t take into account the air they’re breathing. 

According to Dr Samir Garde, a pulmonologist at Global Hospital Mumbai, when you wear a mask while working out you inhale what you are exhaling. “First of all, there is no need to go out for a stroll or a jog right now. Even if you do so, wearing a mask is not at all a good idea.”

“When we wear a mask we are breathing in the carbon dioxide that we exhale which is more troublesome,” he explains.  

In fact, Dr Garde warns about these five things that can happen if you wear a mask and exercise
“Why do we exercise? We do it to stay fit. But when you wear a mask that’s not happening”, says Dr Gadre. In fact, wearing a mask might have these repercussions according to him: 

1. Claustrophobia
Because you breathe heavily while you are exercising, there are high chances of you getting claustrophobic as the air supply might be restricted by your mask.

Do you know that recently in China, two young boys died while running laps for gym class. It was reported that both of them were wearing masks during the physical examination, according to 7News, an Australian news outlet?

2. Lower stamina and fatigue
“Stamina all boils down to the amount of oxygen you are inhaling while you exercise. If you are wearing a mask then, of course, your stamina will be on the lower side as you won’t be taking in as much oxygen as you must” says Dr Gadre.

Wearing a mask while running can lower your stamina by miles and bounds. Image courtesy: Shutterstock.

3. Nausea
Lack of oxygen and breathlessness might also lead to nausea and dizziness.

4. Excessive sweating and dehydration
“When you keep on re-breathing the air you exhale it accelerates your heart rate due to which you sweat a lot. As a result, there are high chances that your body might dehydrate,” he says. He also suggests that staying hydrated during the summer is crucial.

5. Unconsciousness and irritability
“Although it is not very common, you can’t eliminate the chances of it. When you exercise with your mask on you are rebuilding the carbon dioxide levels in your body which can lead to unconsciousness,” warns Dr Gadre.

exercise to protect against covid-19
Prefer exercising at home amid covid-19. Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

Takeaways
“Right now it is better that you stay at home and do whatever exercises you want in your premises. You can use your terrace instead of stepping out,” he urges. 

Yes, you can place your bets on N95 masks that are available in the market, but Dr Gadre says that the general public doesn’t need it as much and that it is more beneficial for medical staff.  

Now that even the World Health Organisation (WHO) is saying that we need to learn to live with covid-19, we need to be careful about the choices we make. So, think twice before you sneak out for a run with your mask on.

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Nikita Bhardwaj Nikita Bhardwaj

Six-pack abs are all that Nikita needs, along with her daily dose of green tea. At Health Shots, she produces videos, podcasts, stories, and other kick-ass content.