Nepal | July 12, 2020

Exercising with face mask on: A big NO!

Share Now:

Kathmandu, June 28

With the easing of the coronavirus-lockdown, more people are up and about, especially in the morning and evening either walking or jogging with face masks on.

This ‘phenomenon’, however, is not actually considered to be wise as it might lead to health hazards.

Avoid exercising with face mask on

It is not recommended to wear a face mask while exercising as a face mask restricts the flow of air into our lungs which results in shortness of breath and extreme tiredness.

Face masks are to be worn following physical distancing and while adhering to safety norms, and not while exercising.

What if we have face masks on while exercising?

We inhale oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide. Wearing face masks while exercising can trap high levels of carbon dioxide causing —
• Headaches
• Vertigo
• Seizures
• Suffocation
• Difficulty concentrating
• Drowsiness
• Unconsciousness
• Increased heart rate
• Difficulty in hearing
• Blurry vision; and
• Muscle tremors

All of the above symptoms take place primarily due to lack of air. This is called hypercapnia, which is caused by rebreathing your own exhaled carbon dioxide, and this could happen if you wear face mask worn over long durations.

Who shouldn’t use face mask while exercising?

If you have an underlying health problem that requires exercising, then there are ways in which you can continue your fitness schedule without using face masks. People suffering from asthma, heart diseases, high blood pressure and diabetes, among others can practise social distancing and exercises without face masks.

Also, you should not push your limit if you are suffering from the above-listed diseases.

When not to use a face mask

• Driving/ Riding alone
• At home
• When you are in self-isolation

How long should one use a face mask?

As per the World Health Organisation (WHO), it is recommended you do not cover your nose and mouth for more than 20 minutes at a time. You can remove it and inhale fresh air in an isolated area.

Face masks are to be used only in crowded places. This will ensure that you are getting adequate amount of oxygen.

Mak sure you’re getting enough oxygen

Your lungs inhale oxygen which is vital for your very survival.

The lungs also exhale carbon dioxide. If carbon dioxide is inhaled, it could be life-threatening. So, what matters the most is how much oxygen you are able to inhale and what level is good. If you are a health-oriented person, consider using a pulse oximeter to detect the levels of oxygen you intake. The other option is that you simply look at your body’s reaction and decide. If you have symptoms like lightheadedness, shortness of breath, numbness or tingling in your body, it would mean that your lungs are not getting enough oxygen to be transferred to other parts of your body.

Using face masks while exercising is a bad idea; it is recommended that you stay quarantined at home and exercise.

Dangers of wearing face masks for too long

Driver passes out: A driver in an SUV crashed into a pole in New Jersey on April 23. He claimed the collision occurred due to his wearing N95 mask for too long. The case was medically evaluated and reported he had passed out due to insufficient oxygen and intake of higher levels of carbon dioxide over longer periods.

Man goes jogging with face mask, suffers damaged lungs: A 26-year-old man from Wuhan, China complained of chest pain and was taken to a nearby hospital where he was diagnosed with lungs collapse due to jogging with a face mask on. The victim claimed that he wanted to push his workout schedule harder and jogged for a continuous six kilometres unlike his three-kilometre jogging routine.

He also stated he experienced shortness of breath, but still pushed his limits thinking that it was natural.

Dr Neupane, an expert in Musculoskeletal Disorder and Sports Medicine, is the Managing Director of Aahas Health Care

A version of this article appears in e-paper on June 28, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.

Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

Tarai districts at risk of floods after heavy rainfall in hilly region

RAUTAHAT: Tarai districts are at a high risk of floods as water level has risen alarmingly after incessant rainfall in hilly and Chure region in recent days. Locals residing on the banks of Bagmati and Lalbakiya rivers in Rautahat and Sarlahi districts have been living in terror of floods as Read More...

NHRC chief draws flak for condemning Mohna Ansari

KATHMANDU, JULY 10 National Human Rights Commission Chairman Anup Raj Sharma has drawn flak for issuing a press release condemning NHRC member Mohna Ansari for criticising Samajwadi Party-Nepal’s decision to expel Sarita Giri from both the party and the House of Representatives. Sharma h Read More...

Commission on the investigation of Enforced Disappeared Persons

Conflict victims lament govt’s apathy in their joint submission

KATHMANDU, JULY 10 Various victim groups of Nepal have made a joint submission to the 37th Session of the Working Group on Universal Periodic Review of the United Nations Human Rights Council, drawing its attention to the Government of Nepal’s persistent failure to deliver truth, justice, repar Read More...

Gaindakot, Nawalparasi

East-West Highway obstructed as flood sweeps diversion in Nawalpur

KATHMANDU: The East-West Highway has been obstructed since a diversion was washed away by a flash flood at Gaindakot section in Nawalparasi (East) district. It has been learnt that the vehicular movement along the highway came to halt after the flooded rivulet in Thumsi swept away the culvert o Read More...

Nepal Communist Party (NCP) standing committee meet put off for a week

KATHMANDU, JULY 10 The ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) has postponed its Standing Committee meeting for a week. NCP Spokesperson Narayan Kaji Shrestha wrote on his Twitter handle that the party took the decision to postpone its Standing Committee meeting to enable the party’s rank and fil Read More...

‘Regulate particular content, media, not entire industry’

KATHMANDU, JULY 10 Freedom Forum, a civil society organisation, issued a press release condemning cable operators’ decision to halt broadcast of Indian news channels, except Doordarshan, over misleading and defamatory content about Nepal. Freedom Forum said service providers and media carrie Read More...

Jada and Will Smith reveal marriage trouble on Facebook show

LOS ANGELES: With their marriage under social-media scrutiny, Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith reaffirmed their commitment to each other as Pinkett Smith admitted to having a relationship with musician August Alsina when she and Smith were separated. In a one-on-one conversation Friday on Pinke Read More...

Amazon says email to employees banning TikTok was a mistake

Roughly five hours after an internal email went out Friday to Amazon employees telling them to delete the popular video app TikTok from their phones, the online retailing giant appeared to backtrack, calling the ban a mistake. “This morning’s email to some of our employees was sent in error," Read More...