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Wearing mask while exercising could do more than protect you from COVID-19, local doctor says

Have you ever considered wearing a mask inside the gym while working out?

With the rise in positive COVID-19 cases in Allegheny County, one health expert said it could add a layer of protection. The mask could even help you burn more calories.

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This comes after several people tested positive for coronavirus in Morgantown, W.Va. Health officials said more than 200 people may have been exposed to COVID-19 because of it.

Allegheny Health Network sports medicine Dr. Todd Franco told Channel 11 that although gyms are following CDC guidelines, with the recent spike in coronavirus cases, people might want to consider wearing a mask while working out.

Or if that isn’t an option, exercise outside away from other people.

“As you’re wearing a mask and you’re restricting the flow of oxygen into your airways and, ultimately, to your muscles, it’s a much more challenging workout,” Franco said. “Theoretically, you’re working harder, so as you start to increase your intensity, you can burn extra calories.”

Franco said inside the gym you have to worry about the air particles coming from other people.

He also recommends wearing a cloth mask instead of an N-95 mask while exercising.

Franco clarified that it’s important to talk with your doctor to see if working out with a mask is right for you.

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