In a recent study from the British Journal of Sports medicine*, it pointed out some issues with exercising while wearing a mask. As indicated in the study, a 29% drop in peak oxygen consumption was measured. In addition, mask wearing led to a 14% drop in exercise time (fatigue).
Exercise is extremely important for good health. To address the mask/exercise situation, I would recommend exercising in an area where there are no mask requirements as the higher the blood oxygen level, the better your body can deal with converting available glucose into ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate) which is what your muscles need during exercise – big time. Poor oxygen levels means lactic acid build up – not good.
Optimum oxygen levels are also important for the proper operation of all body functions, especially with the Heart, Lungs, and cells.
Checking your blood oxygen saturation
You can always randomly check your blood oxygen saturation with a pulse oximeter. This device is like a small clothespin that clips on the end of your finger which measures your blood oxygen saturation and displays a reading in a percentage. This device works by passing light through the blood in your finger and measuring the result.
Levels between 100 and 95% are good. Below that range raises an area of concern and should be investigated further by a medical professional.
Some people with lung conditions and other chronic illness have oxygen saturation levels that are around 90% to begin with, so wearing a mask could further compromise oxygen intake and should be discussed further with a medical professional.
Keep in mind to follow all local and federal social distancing protocols including PPE.