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Wearing a Mask?

Wearing a Mask?

Now that we’ve all been wearing face masks to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus…

You’ve probably seen people exercising outside with masks on…

It’s scientifically ludicrous to insist on this.

Here’s why:

Many experts have asserted that wearing a mask during exercise is reducing an individual’s intake of oxygen—or forcing them to breathe in their own carbon dioxide.

Breathing toxic air leaves them feeling faint, light-headed, or “smothered.”

They’re also concerned about how dangerous this is, and how less oxygen and more carbon dioxide might affect their health…

In rare cases, it can actually be pretty dangerous, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

They say that inhaling high levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) may be life-threatening.

Hypercapnia (carbon dioxide toxicity) can also cause headache, vertigo, double vision, inability to concentrate, tinnitus (hearing a noise, like a ringing or buzzing, that’s not caused by an outside source), seizures, or suffocation due to displacement of air.

But that’s not the only issue…

Breathing heavily into a mask leads to increased nasal mucus production…

On top of that, you’re sweating…

Both of these outcomes will likely trigger you to adjust your mask…

In this way, wearing face coverings during exercise makes you more prone to touching your face…

That means you are touching whatever germs were contained by the mask…

And thereby risking transferring them onto, say, the doorknob of your home when you let yourself back in…

This violates whatever point of mask wearing there was…

Boiling it down into an “act of courtesy” that is almost certainly not protective and possibly even worse than going barefaced…

So, should you really be wearing a mask when you exercise outside?

Or is it doing more harm than good? The verdict:

It’s really an issue of whether you’re socially distanced or not.

If you find yourself in a circumstance where you’re unable to social distance, having a mask handy is helpful.

But if you’re outdoors exercising by yourself…

It’s highly likely that social distancing is easily maintainable

Therefore wearing a mask isn’t going to be necessary…

Furthermore, there are health risks associated with exercising with face coverings…

According to infectious disease expert Amesh Adalja, MD, senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, “Someone exercising with a mask on for a prolonged period of time may have alterations in their blood chemistry that could lead to changes in level of consciousness if severe…

“But it’s most likely to happen to those who are already predisposed to breathing difficulties, such as smokers, obese people, or individuals with respitaroy or cardiovascaul conditions…”

Here’s the bottom line:

Where and under what circumstances people need to wear a mask during outdoor exercise weighs heavily on your environment and health conditions.

People with health conditions that make it difficult to breathe such as:

Respiratory conditions like asthma or bronchitis

Cardiovascular issues — such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder

Being overweight or obese

Should talk to their doctor about what’s best for them before exercising with face coverings.

Now, let me make myself clear:

I can’t emphasize enough how important it is that we get outside and get active…

Especially for individuals seeking to better manage their weight loss…

My main point is this:

We need to have a better understanding of how certain precautionary measures may impact our health…

Those who exercise outside should be aware of their surroundings — and plan ahead.

As always,

Eat well. Move well. Be Well. Ed Williams-Founder, BelizeFitBodyClinic.com
PS: One more thing I’d like to point out while we’re on the topic…

Whether it be a walk, jog, bike ride or hike — Getting active outside is one of the absolute best things you can do for your immune and metabolic health.

As most know…

Research proves that excess body fat in and of itself is the most significant risk factor associated with COVID-19.

In fact…

Statistics pooled from 166 UK hospitals found that out of 17,000 patients, those who were overweight had a 33% greater risk of dying than those who were not overweight.

Another study of 430,000 NHS electronic health records from Glasgow University found being overweight doubles the risk of going to hospital because of severe coronavirus symptoms.

People who are overweight are more likely to have higher resistance in their airways, lower lung volumes, and weaker respiratory muscles… Which are critical in the defense against COVID-19.

These factors make overweight individuals more likely to develop pneumonia, and they place additional stress on the heart.

Even more alarming…

In the United States, 71.6% of American adults are overweight according to the National Center for Health Statistics…

And when other health conditions linked to obesity (such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes) are also taken into account… The risks are even higher.

As more data emerges, one thing is clear…

We need to get healthier…

Not just to mitigate the risks associated with COVID-19…

But in general — as a population — we have to start taking responsibility for our body and health…

So, if you’ve been waiting for a sign to get on track with your weight loss goals…

There’s never been a better time to start than right now.

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