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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

22,70,55,138Cases
18,97,86,461Active
3,25,98,424Recovered
46,70,253Deaths
Coronavirus has spread to 195 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 22,70,55,138 and 46,70,253 have died; 18,97,86,461 are active cases and 3,25,98,424 have recovered as on September 17, 2021 at 5:36 am.

India

3,33,81,728 34,403Cases
3,39,0563,867Active
3,25,98,424 37,950Recovered
4,44,248 320Deaths
In India, there are 3,33,81,728 confirmed cases including 4,44,248 deaths. The number of active cases is 3,39,056 and 3,25,98,424 have recovered as on September 17, 2021 at 2:30 am.

State Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths
Maharashtra

65,11,525 3,595

52,893 310

63,20,310 3,240

1,38,322 45

Kerala

44,46,228 22,182

1,86,754 4,559

42,36,309 26,563

23,165 178

Karnataka

29,65,191 1,108

16,202 282

29,11,434 808

37,555 18

Tamil Nadu

26,40,361 1,693

16,756 120

25,88,334 1,548

35,271 25

Andhra Pradesh

20,34,786 1,367

14,708 105

20,06,034 1,248

14,044 14

Uttar Pradesh

17,09,628 23

193 11

16,86,549 11

22,886 1

West Bengal

15,59,567 707

8,025 25

15,32,922 725

18,620 7

Delhi

14,38,373 28

409 5

14,12,880 22

25,084 1

Odisha

10,18,298 580

5,335 105

10,04,845 681

8,118 4

Chhattisgarh

10,04,988 31

352 2

9,91,077 29

13,559

Rajasthan

9,54,230 4

103 1

9,45,173 5

8,954

Gujarat

8,25,677 22

149 0

8,15,446 22

10,082

Madhya Pradesh

7,92,374 7

119 5

7,81,738 12

10,517

Haryana

7,70,697 9

327 8

7,60,562 17

9,808

Bihar

7,25,864 12

72 6

7,16,134 6

9,658

Telangana

6,62,785 259

5,282 43

6,53,603 301

3,900 1

Punjab

6,01,180 30

314 11

5,84,399 38

16,467 3

Assam

5,97,074 468

5,381 15

5,85,914 479

5,779 4

Jharkhand

3,48,102 6

102 8

3,42,867 14

5,133

Uttarakhand

3,43,330 20

284 12

3,35,657 32

7,389

Jammu And Kashmir

3,27,466 170

1,421 72

3,21,630 98

4,415

Himachal Pradesh

2,16,430 127

1,568 82

2,11,215 206

3,647 3

Goa

1,75,183 95

699 1

1,71,195 96

3,289

Puducherry

1,25,170 107

963 63

1,22,380 42

1,827 2

Manipur

1,17,913 216

2,614 7

1,13,478 219

1,821 4

Tripura

83,787 31

427 26

82,553 56

807 1

Meghalaya

78,958 229

1,804 140

75,784 86

1,370 3

Mizoram

76,591 1,121

13,888 85

62,449 1,202

254 4

Chandigarh

65,168 4

31 2

64,319 2

818

Arunachal Pradesh

53,990 47

536 9

53,183 56

271

Sikkim

30,802 64

775 28

29,648 36

379

Nagaland

30,763 32

505 14

29,610 44

648 2

Ladakh

20,631 6

41 1

20,383 5

207

Dadra And Nagar Haveli

10,670

5 0

10,661

4

Lakshadweep

10,353

4 0

10,298

51

Andaman And Nicobar Islands

7,595 3

15 2

7,451 1

129

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