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Should You Wear Mask While Exercising In The Wake Of Coronavirus Pandemic? Experts Explain

Experts caution people about the risks associated with wearing masks while exercising during COVID-19 pandemic

Should You Wear Mask While Exercising In The Wake Of Coronavirus Pandemic? Experts Explain  


New Delhi: We all are living in the era of coronavirus pandemic when the new normal is wearing a face mask whenever we head out of our homes or in some cases even indoors, to safeguard ourselves as well as others in the community against the highly contagious virus that spreads through small droplets from the nose or mouth which are spread when a person with COVID-19 coughs or exhales. But as India unlocks and people start to step out of their home for their daily fitness routine the one common question that is should masks be worn while exercising? NDTV asks the experts.

Also Read: 6 MONTHS ON, A RECAP OF HOW THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC UNFOLDED

Explaining that one should really avoid the use of mask while exercising and instead make sure they maintain a healthy physical distance so that chances of the spread is low, Dr P. Raghu Ram, President of The Association of Surgeons of India said that exercising while wearing a face mask can result in hyperventilation and reduce brain function. He added,

If you wear a mask during exercise it will act as a barrier to airflow, which can lower the oxygen levels in the re-circulated air. Also, you will inhale more carbon dioxide as you tend to exhale more of that during exercise, which if you wear a mask can get trapped and as a result, you re-inhale it. This can further cause excessive breathing or hyperventilation, and reduce brain function. This can manifest as confusion and loss of consciousness as well.

Dr Ram further suggested that it is very important to balance the benefits of wearing a mask versus its adverse effects during exercise. He said,

At a time when there is a rapid surge in the number of COVID-19 cases, wearing a mask in public spaces is absolutely essential. In the absence of adequate evidence-based information regarding the use of a mask during exercise, it would be prudent not to exercise in public places for a few months. However, if you are going out for your fitness routine, it is very important that you take all precautions, make sure you are exercising alone or are maintaining a good physical distance and you are carrying hand sanitiser and following hand hygiene nicely.

Also Read: 6 MONTHS ON, WHAT DO WE KNOW ABOUT THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

Dr M.S. Kanwar, Senior Consultant, Respiratory, Critical care and Sleep Medicine, Indraprastha Apollo Hospital, Delhi added,

Wearing face masks while exercising can also affect exercise performance. It will impact your pace of performance while running, cycling or any other cardio training. Moreover, it is a well-known fact that heart rate increases during exercise. But wearing a mask during exercise further increases heart rate by manifold, which can cause dehydration, light-headedness and dizziness and can even result in adverse cardiac effects. It also means the people might experience a hard time catching their breath with a face mask on and also might feel worn out and fatigued faster than usual.

Further recommending what needs to be done if you feel exerted, he added,

If you have any symptoms like chest pain, dizziness or laboured breathing while exercising wearing a mask, do not exert yourself. Remove your mask and sit for some time, until you catch your breath.

Suggesting people should opt for home workouts instead outdoor workouts, Dr. Bharat Agarwal, Consultant, Internal Medicine, Apollo Hospitals Navi Mumbai, said,

At home, you don’t need to wear any masks, so I advise everyone to maintain a healthy regime in the comfort of their homes. If people prefer jogging outdoors that I suggest run at a slower pace and wear disposable masks as that ensures a decent flow or air in the lungs and prevent them from overworking. On the other hand, wearing a mask and exercising is not advisable for people who have respiratory or cardiovascular conditions like asthma, bronchitis, or Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). It’s important to consult a doctor before attempting workouts while wearing masks.

Also Read: Coronavirus Outbreak Explained: What Is A Coronavirus And COVID-19?

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and Union Health Minister DR Harsh Vardhan also advised people not to wear masks while they are exercising. Sharing the revised guideline on social media, DR Harsh Vardhan said, “People should not wear a mask when exercising as a mask may reduce the ability to breathe comfortably. Sweat can make the mask wetter which leads to the growth of microorganisms which can work in favour of the virus. The important preventive measure during exercise is to maintain a healthy physical distance or more than a metre from others.”

NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene

World

26,10,35,501Cases
22,18,42,204Active
3,39,98,278Recovered
51,95,019Deaths
Coronavirus has spread to 196 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 26,10,35,501 and 51,95,019 have died; 22,18,42,204 are active cases and 3,39,98,278 have recovered as on November 28, 2021 at 3:39 am.

India

3,45,72,523 8,774Cases
1,05,6911,328Active
3,39,98,278 9,481Recovered
4,68,554 621Deaths
In India, there are 3,45,72,523 confirmed cases including 4,68,554 deaths. The number of active cases is 1,05,691 and 3,39,98,278 have recovered as on November 28, 2021 at 2:30 am.

State Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths
Maharashtra

66,33,612 507

11,905 248

64,80,799 738

1,40,908 17

Kerala

51,29,359 4,741

49,152 957

50,40,528 5,144

39,679 554

Karnataka

29,95,285 322

6,783 143

29,50,306 176

38,196 3

Tamil Nadu

27,24,731 740

8,382 36

26,79,895 765

36,454 11

Andhra Pradesh

20,72,446 248

2,158 5

20,55,856 253

14,432

Uttar Pradesh

17,10,373 5

86 5

16,87,377 9

22,910 1

West Bengal

16,14,152 701

7,820 27

15,86,882 717

19,450 11

Delhi

14,40,834 27

290 11

14,15,448 37

25,096 1

Odisha

10,48,492 264

2,222 6

10,37,864 255

8,406 3

Chhattisgarh

10,06,733 27

326 7

9,92,814 20

13,593

Rajasthan

9,54,741 26

187 13

9,45,599 13

8,955

Gujarat

8,27,382 28

291 17

8,16,999 45

10,092

Madhya Pradesh

7,93,120 23

112 9

7,82,480 14

10,528

Haryana

7,71,654 11

159 1

7,61,441 10

10,054

Bihar

7,26,212 3

39 6

7,16,510 9

9,663

Telangana

6,75,479 160

3,545 11

6,67,946 148

3,988 1

Assam

6,16,435 123

2,720 71

6,07,624 189

6,091 5

Punjab

6,03,190 17

313 22

5,86,284 39

16,593

Jharkhand

3,49,216 20

109 0

3,43,967 20

5,140

Uttarakhand

3,44,183 14

150 6

3,36,626 8

7,407

Jammu And Kashmir

3,36,386 149

1,724 5

3,30,189 141

4,473 3

Himachal Pradesh

2,26,941 82

809 18

2,22,287 97

3,845 3

Goa

1,78,839 40

275 9

1,75,183 31

3,381

Mizoram

1,34,279 358

4,117 110

1,29,672 466

490 2

Puducherry

1,28,860 35

326 5

1,26,662 30

1,872

Manipur

1,25,117 19

673 1

1,22,474 18

1,970 2

Tripura

84,784 13

89 9

83,874 3

821 1

Meghalaya

84,414 20

308 27

82,635 44

1,471 3

Chandigarh

65,443 5

52 4

64,571 1

820

Arunachal Pradesh

55,269 9

37 4

54,952 5

280

Sikkim

32,211 4

114 5

31,694 9

403

Nagaland

32,100 4

135 1

31,269 5

696

Ladakh

21,494 27

249 6

21,032 21

213

Dadra And Nagar Haveli

10,683

1 0

10,678

4

Lakshadweep

10,394

28 1

10,315 1

51

Andaman And Nicobar Islands

7,680 2

5 2

7,546

129

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