Wearing a mask when you are doing indoor Exercise is a risk of injury. Brownstone Institute


A recent paper by The Technical University of Munich published in PNAS was picked up by national newspapers across the world. The researchers found that the amount of aerosol released increases exponentially when you exert yourself to the maximum extent and suggests that indoor sporting activities can increase the chances of developing infectious diseases like COVID. The authors recommended using face masks or social distancing as well as ventilation to avoid viral infections during (vigorous) indoor exercises.

The study reported in the article published in the newspaper is not conclusive yet about an increased risk of respiratory infections due to aerosols released by people who are healthy in indoor exercise. The suggestion to wear face masks for vigorous exercise hasn’t been proven secure and efficient.

The latest information available supports an increased risk of developing long-term wear of face masks however there is little to no effect on stopping the transmission of viruses. In addition, based on the previous data that suggests the transmission of a respiratory virus in people without symptoms is doubted.

The manner in which the story is reported in the media could result in more strict guidelines for indoor sports, and a potential increase in chance of dying when wearing masks during intense exercise is not eliminated.

Active indoor workout More aerosols and larger generated

In the study , athletes who have been trained have significantly higher aerosol emissions than non-trained athletes due to their greater minute breathing, which in turn implies a greater risk of infections. The researchers state that the SARS-CoV-2 virus as well as other respiratory viruses are transmitted by respiratory particles that are released while talking or breathing. The transmission of these viruses will depend on the speed at the particles released.

Based on their research and the fact that gyms are a threat for spreading events that are super-spreading, the authors suggest specific protective measures for indoor sports. In the case of high rates of community-wide infection and a low vaccination rate testing, the use of plastic shields, the right distance, superior ventilation systems, and wearing masks by fit young athletes while performing high-impact exercises inside gyms and indoor facilities is suggested. When the workload is low, only ventilation and distancing systems are required.

Another study , which was released in Communication Medicine found that aerosol mass release when exercising vigorously isn’t unlike talking at a conversational scale. Although speaking produces larger particles, exercise produces smaller particles. Masks can be used for intense exercises as bigger particles are generated when training is intensified. Social distancing has been suggested as a measure to prevent COVID-19 in non-exercise-based social interactions and for most low-impact activities since the aerosol particles that are released are not large enough to enter the mask. The study found that five fit and healthy individuals of the 25 participants (both males and females) did not make it through the extremely vigorous testing phase because of exhaustion.

How were super-spreading events identified

Utilizing cell phone data from more than 98 million US individuals, researchers discovered the public spaces inside that were most likely to be the source of spreading of COVID-19. They also found that gyms and restaurants were the most at vulnerable to the spread of super-spreading. In Chicago the city, 10% of the locations people went to were responsible for 85 percent of the cases which was higher in low-income neighborhoods.

Super-spreading events are events where one positive test result is linked to a number of other individuals who have tested positive. A number of super-spreading events have appeared reported in the media in which a number of individuals have been tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 virus following exercise in the indoors. In most cases, the individual who was tested was not symptomatic at all or was not showing any symptoms.

The possibility of the transmission of the virus through air via aerosols (droplets of less than 5 millimeters) within indoor environments is being recognized by a large number of people. Aerosols that are lighter in weight can be sucked up and accumulated in the air, and then travel for far distances via air circulation. The most common view prior to this was that respiratory viruses were carried by larger droplets that are deposited on surfaces within 2 meters, or can be transmitted by hands of people. The possibility of catching the virus on surfaces – though possible – appears to be uncommon.

Researchers think that super-spreading incidents could increase in frequency and size due to the fact that more transmissible variants of SARS-CoV-2 are becoming more frequent. Smaller, more densely-populated places could be at greater risk of being infected if they are visited for long durations and are not adequately ventilated.

Testing and transmission of infections of patients who are asymptomatic.

Two years after the pandemic, there’s numerous questions regarding an unasymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 virus left. It is interesting to note that in China at the time of the beginning of the pandemic infected people weren’t at the forefront of causing massive local outbreaks. Similar to this, a lot of health professionals who treated patients during a time when personal equipment wasn’t routinely employed remain seronegative. Additionally, living in a single house does not guarantee the positive PCR test or symptoms.

It got more complicated when doctors noticed signs of illness even in patients who are not suffering. One instance is from Wuhan during the early stages of the outbreak, which revealed that around one-third of patients who had asymptomatic infection suffered from lung issues which were evident on computed tomography scans that indicated an end organ injury. Another illustration could be an US FAIR Health study that found that 19% of patients with Long COVID are due to symptoms-free infections. However, the symptoms such as long-term Covid or loss of smell may have different causes.

To assess how much those with no symptoms who test positive using one of the PCR test or the rapid antigen test antibody test contribute to COVID-19 pandemic is a difficult task. In particular, the term “asymptomatic” is used in a variety of ways. The definition is an infection in the laboratory that is confirmed as SARS-CoV-2 that is confirmed by serology or PCR but without any symptoms related to COVID-19 throughout the duration of the illness.

The extremely sensitive PCR test can produce a high number of false positives as well as false negatives when people who are symptomatic are being tested. The PCR test is able to identify the existence of a fragment of RNA from the virus SARS-CoV-2. The RNA by itself could remain detectable for several months following an infection, resulting in the positive test. Unfortunately, the methods and materials of research and published papers don’t always include the quantity and types of probes used in gene tests and Ct values that are used in PCR tests, which could result in different results among different studies.

In addition, it’s unclear whether the tests are verified against viral infectivity the environment; e.g. finding a virus that may be capable of transmitting to another person, causing infections. In several countries, a range of PCR tests are used with Ct values of 30 or more, with the possibility of high proportions that are false positives. Based on the probes used for gene analysis employed, cross-reactivity with other (corona)viruses could occur. Antigen tests that are rapid have been confirmed across PCR tests and are vulnerable to high rates of false positives and false negatives in those who do not have symptoms.

Other issues have been mentioned in the news, including contamination of laboratory and sampling areas where large numbers of tests were performed and the inability to use only one test probe untrained personnel and insecure tests, which can lead to an unsatisfactory diagnostic tests, based upon the data that has been analysed and reported.

Researchers have suggested the 20-40% all global illnesses are not symptomatic. The majority of these data are determined by diagnostic tests and not an examination of symptoms by a medical professional. The distinction between symptomatic and asymptomatic may be challenged and in many instances not known.

The discussion continues as it is extremely difficult to recognize aerosols outside of the lab and prove that they carry the virus to another individual and trigger COVID-19-related symptoms.

SARS-CoV-2 virus is among the most studied immune targets that has led to the revision of old textbooks. As of now it is believed that a cause for symptoms due to long-term wear masks, the frequent usage of disinfectants and tests that has not been observed in the past and hasn’t been evaluated.

Masks worn during exercise could be deadly

Harvard Medical School, the Mayo Clinic and Harvard Medical School, the Mayo Clinic Cleveland Clinic, Bangkok hospital and a host of research and medical professionals from the UK recommend wearing masks while playing sporting activities. While masks for face may not be the most comfortable option however they will protect you from COVID-19 and will not hinder your efforts to remain fit during the outbreak, they claim.

The CDC encourages gym users to wear masks when working out at fitness centers , even when they are doing intense exercise. However, it’s fine for those who have been vaccinated completely to exercise outdoors without using a mask. However the WHO is not a fan of wearing a mask while playing sporting activities. A very serious warning was issued by Cambridge news and other news sources after two Chinese children passed away when they ran while wearing masks.

The results of the little-studied effect of covering the your nose and mouth using face masks or other breathing devices on perceptual and physiological reactions during exercise are controversial. The few participants in those studies comprised mostly people who had athletic capabilities, and people with cardio-pulmonary or other conditions were not included.

As an As a25 percent increase in emergencies of cardiovascular disease among the under 40s in Israel in the course of vaccine rollouts and the COVID-19 third wave is observed, security and safety of wearing masks (during activities) is a major issue .

At present, more than 150 research studies do not permit the conclusion that, without doubt, masks worn by people can help prevent infection and stop transmission of viruses. A report by the ECDC states that there is no solid evidence for masks on faces. In addition, the number of peer-reviewed studies pointing to the dangers of the frequent and prolonged wearing of masks, that were overlooked in the past, are stacking up.

A study that was recently published (not peer-reviewed as of yet) revealed an increase in CO2 levels when wearing the mask. The CO2 content was that were above the risk threshold of 5 mg/m2 (acceptable limit for workers) for 40.2 percent of people wearing medical masks, and for 99.0 percent of people wearing FFP2 masks. An article on COVID-19 as well as masks worn during sports also demonstrated an increase in pCO2 when performing intensive physical exercise.

Masks worn by athletes results in hypercapnic and hypoxic breathing, as demonstrated by an increase in exertion during exercising. Another study revealed that wearing a mask while exercising mainly alters perception, leading to increases in amount of breathlessness perception and general exertion, with a limited impact on pulse oxygen blood lactate levels, as well as the heart-rate responses.

Mask wearers reported significant discomfort, like experiencing hot, humid, and breathing resistance as well as anxiety due to increased exercise intensities. While other studies have not been able to find significant discernable variations, these symptoms should be considered serious.

Both carbon dioxide and oxygen are the main gaseous product and substrate, respectively of oxidative metabolism. Inconsistencies in the concentrations of these gases beyond the range of physiological levels can result in pathological conditions, such as heart and respiratory issues as well as permanent injury as well as immune suppression, the aging process as well as altered expression of genes to cause fertility and ultimately death. Intoxication with carbon dioxide has been acknowledged as a frequent cause of alcohol-related illness within an emergency room.

A shift of these gasses, however tiny, could cause an imbalance in the microbial population, which can result in a weakening of the immune system, which could be detected by the appearance of acne on the face and mask mouth , with an increased risk of contracting chronic and infectious diseases.

Researchers from a study that was published in the journal Frontiers of Physiology have raised concerns specifically for those who exercise in a humid and hot atmosphere, as it can degrade the mask and make it less able to stop the spread of germs and viruses and suffer from a high face temperature as well as difficulties breathing.

The findings of the study of observation that was published in Medicine strongly suggest that masks are responsible for 50 percent more deaths when compared to no mandates for masks. It is believed that drops that are hyper-condensed by masks are re-inhaled and absorbed deeper to the respiratory tract. This could be the cause of the higher death number (The Foegen effect).

A peer-reviewed study that was published in April 2022, on mask use across Europe found a moderately positive relationship between the use of masks and death within Western Europe.

A recent study concluded that there is that there is a risk of the development of MIES (Mask Induced Exhaustion syndrome) due to long-term use of masks.

Safety of the masks worn by the general public can’t be ensured. Nanoparticles that are toxic, such as nanoparticles (graphene oxide titanium dioxide, graphene oxide, Silver, Zinc oxide) as well as microplastics have been identified. Masks supplied by governments are being removed off the shelves within The Netherlands, Canada, Germany and Belgium. Recent studies have revealed that microplastics as well as nanoparticles in blood, the deep lung tissue, and in the liver. Nanoparticles and microplastics drain the body, creating bio corona, which is made up of vital nutrients, proteins and cells that are required for the body to function effectively. A recent study examined the possibility of carcinogenicity from an increased exposure to microplastics as well as nanoparticles for humans.

There is currently no evidence to suggest that the long-term use of masks throughout normal life is secure and efficient. There is no evidence of spread of an infection disease through an unaffected person, and the efficiency using masks the use of masks requirements should be immediately banned. There is evidence of irreparable harm that could rise when someone has been vaccinated, and may be more susceptible to the effects of oxidative stress.

Exercise can help prevent Infectious Disease

For a long time, it has been well-known that those with an exercise routine experience fewer signs and symptoms that are associated with upper respiratory ailments. Research from epidemiological studies suggests that regular exercise may protect the host from infection like COVID-19 like rhinovirus, influenza virus varicella zoster, as well as herpes simplex. The astonishingly low frequency of COVID-19 in the Sub-Saharan Africa region is thought to be linked to the fact that individuals move more and sitting more.

instead of looking at the extent of production of aerosols and then arguing for wearing masks, testing without symptoms, or social isolation in the face of social distancing, it is more beneficial to promote exercising in a well-ventilated environment (with the appropriate conditions of temperature and humidity) and living a healthy life. This is the best method to handle the next flare of respiratory ailments and avoid a tsunami of deaths and chronic diseases.

Journalists from prominent media outlets could be a valuable resource in restoring trust in health by providing honest and balanced information based on science to the general public, based on critical analysis.

  • Carla Peeters is founder and managing director of COBALA Good Care Feels Better. She earned an PhD in Immunology at the Medical Faculty of Utrecht, and studied molecular Sciences within Wageningen University and Research, and then completed a four-year degree of Higher Nature Scientific Education with the focus on diagnostics for medical laboratories and research. She attended various business schools, including London Business School, INSEAD and Nyenrode Business School.


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