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Sports with mouthguards: how dangerous is it?

Due to the corona virus, face masks are mandatory in Germany in retail shops, hairdressers, and on public transport by buses and trains. Soon the masks will also be worn in the fitness rooms. But how useful is it? And should joggers also wear a protective mask in the open air?

The right mask for the gym

In the gym, athletes should preferably use a mask consisting of a Nylon-elastane blend consists. This mix of fabrics is similar to that of sports shirts or swimwear and has special properties to dry quickly. Cotton masks or surgical masks as well as FFP masks penetrate too quickly and are therefore the ideal breeding ground for viruses, bacteria and germs. Furthermore oxygen saturation decreases in the body when wearing cotton masks up to five percent, with FFP2 masks even up to seven percent, as the latter do not let enough oxygen through. It could be dangerous!

Mask during training – you need to consider this:

It is now important for athletes to listen to their body during training and pause or stop training if the load is too high. With a mouthguard the resistance increases, making breathing even more difficult, which is why eg. B. Asthma and COPD patients should not train with a mask in the studio. If the body absorbs too little oxygen through the mask, this is expressed by a Feeling of weakness, dizziness and generally malaise.

For the training design It is recommended that you reduce HIIT endurance exercises by 20 percent and strength training by as much as 30 percent. Moderate training now makes sense not to overload the lungs and body. Also useful for monitoring heart rate. With a continuous load, eg. B. when running on the cross trainer, the pulse should not exceed a value of 190 minus the age.

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Physical adaptation as with altitude training?

When you exercise, your body needs oxygen, which enters the body through deeper and more frequent inhalation. The muscles of the bronchi and lungs have to work harder. If there is a lack of oxygen, the kidneys produce more erythropoietin substance. As a result, the body produces more hemoglobin and red blood cells, which are said to improve oxygen uptake. Special training masks, which are used to mimic the events of altitude training, promise to accustom the body to a lower oxygen supply. However, this is not proven. With a tissue mask or a simple surgical mask, no positive effect in terms of oxygen transport in the body can be expected.

A mask makes no sense outside

Indeed, for runners, cyclists and athletes it is sufficient that they maintain a sufficient distance (at least 1.5 meters) from other people outdoors. The risk of infection is therefore extremely low. A mask therefore makes no sense for athletes. To minimize the risk of infection as well, parks with many people jogging should be avoided. On the one hand it is exhausting to constantly run through the crowd in the slalom, on the other hand the risk of infection is greater.

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Increased risk of infection in the wake

The joggers who are in the wake another jogger running. Here, too, there is enough distance from the good ten meters important as the viruses remain in the air for some time before sinking to the ground. for strollerfollowing other people in the wake are valid for approx. five meters awayfor Cyclists 20 meters. One study The universities of Eindhoven (Netherlands) and Leuven (Belgium) had shown that athletes in the wake and at a distance of only 1.5 meters have a higher risk of receiving aerosols, i.e. very fine droplets, in their face.