Family Healthcast: How to wear a mask while exercising

Family Healthcast

(WSYR-TV) — Most of us are used to wearing a face-mask in places like grocery stores. But, have you noticed that it affects your breathing?

What about wearing a mask when you exercise? That’s when you really feel it.

A study shows that our breathing rates can double or even quadruple during a workout, sending out higher numbers of potentially infectious respiratory droplets.

The New York Times interviewed exercise experts from across the country who said your heart rate can be about eight to 10 beats higher per minute when you wear a mask, even when the intensity of the workout is the same.

Some people also could experience lightheadedness during familiar workouts while masked. What kind of mask you wear can also make things better or worse.

The expert advice is to avoid paper, surgical masks altogether during exercise. This is because they rapidly become wet when we breathe into them vigorously and lose some of their ability to block outgoing germs.

Cotton cloth masks also dampen easily. Cloth masks are made from breathable, synthetic materials should lessen moisture buildup.

Choose models, though, that have two layers or fabric or less, to avoid facial overheating.

Carry extras of your preferred mask if you will be exercising for more than about 30 minutes. Even breathable fabrics become drenched at that point and should be replaced.

Some athletic clothing companies have begun to manufacture masks for use during exercise.

The experts said it’s important to find a mask that works for you. You’ll protect yourself and others who are all working out to stay healthy.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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