Medical experts: ‘Exercise essential with or without mask’

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MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) —With gym’s reopening, clients are back on the treadmill with more than just a water bottle now. Some gyms now require a face mask.

41NBC spoke to experts to find out if exercising with a mask is a good idea. 

“Physical activity can help flush bacteria out of your lungs and your airways. It’s going to help reduce your chances of getting colds, the flu, other illnesses,” said Exercise Physiologist at Navicent Health Catalina Torres Lopez.

Lopez says if you wear a mask while exercising, start off slow. Lopez says don’t push yourself as you normally would, and allow your body to adapt to the restriction of airflow.

“The little bit of oxygen that is being reduced is also not going to your skeletal muscles and your muscles use the oxygen to produce ATP which is energy,” said Lopez.

Certified personal trainer, Marcy Sanders, says Kinetix Health Club in Macon encourages clients to wear a mask, but it’s not a requirement. She says the facility has a strict cleaning guidelines all employees must follow. According to Sanders, membership at Kinetix has increased since reopening.

“I feel very comfortable because we have such a good cleaning system here. I feel like our gym is very safe and healthy,” said Sanders. 

Lopez says if you work out with a mask and start to feel dizzy, light-headed, or have a shortness of breath, you should slow down or stop. She says if you’re constantly working out with a mask on, your body will get back up to speed.