Wearing Masks Don’t Hinder Your Cycling Performance, According to Experts
Gyms and fitness centers have opened across the country with states lifting their lockdown restrictions. However, the pandemic is far from over and many areas across the United States are now facing potential second lockdowns. Luckily for the fitness-oriented, there’s always cycling.
While being out in the open and moving at a faster pace greatly reduces your chances of coming into contact with the virus, it’s still highly advised that you wear a mask. There are a lot of worries about masks and performance in the cycling scene, though, along with safety concerns.
The safety myths have already debunked. This Pheonix attorney answers common questions about bicycle accidents, and wearing a mask isn’t a factor. So, what about exercise performance? Take a look at what these experts have to say about it.
There’s still plenty of research to be conducted, but experts are unified in their stance that masks do not hinder your cycling performance. They don’t decrease your time to exhaustion, interfere with peak power output, or have negative effects on muscle or blood oxygenation levels. Your rate of perceived exertion doesn’t change, either, so long as you’re a young and healthy adult.
That’s excellent news! While this is only the findings of early research, it suggests that you can stay safe while cycling without any negative side-effects on your fitness goals. So, how exactly did the experts come to this conclusion?
The University of Saskatchewan in Canada gathered a handful of researchers with one goal in mind: Determining the potential downsides of cycling with a mask. Their study relied on seven women and seven men, all ranging from cycling pros to the mostly inactive.
Each underwent a brief warmup followed by a progressive-intensity test where they were tasked with maintaining their pedal rate as resistance increased. Each participant went through the test without a mask, while wearing a surgical model, and while wearing a three-layer cloth variant.
All 14 individuals completed the test with their various face coverings until exhaustion while researchers monitored their vitals and recorded results every 30 seconds. To ensure accuracy, each of the three mask tests were conducted on separate days to allow a full recover in-between.
Published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, the results of the study showed no effect on performance when cycling with a mask. Even better, both mask varieties held great marks in a previous study for reducing droplet spread.
While a mask might not protect you from oblivious drivers or car accidents in Redondo beach, they will keep you safe from this deadly virus without sacrificing your workout potential. Additional studies with more participants are needed for a more in-depth understanding, but these findings are excellent news for now.
With this and other studies coming out, that means gyms and fitness centers might be able to stay open provided they maintain safe distancing and enforce strict rules on face coverings along with sanitation. Even if that isn’t as possibility, at least you know you can maintain a quality exercise regimen while staying safe.