Masks Provide Some Benefit to Student-Athletes

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Photo by Naida Abdijanovic

Jack Silies (right) drills with his practice partner while wearing a mask.

As masks have become normalized due to the pandemic, the chances of you seeing someone without a mask when you walk out of your home are low in most counties. Public places such as stores, gas stations, malls and even schools have placed more strict policies when it comes to having a face covering on to prevent germs or the coronavirus from spreading. 

Many might disagree that masks serve any other benefit besides preventing the virus from entering the body. Although it is very true that masks are effective and can help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, there are also other benefits. 

Student-athlete, Almedina Mrguda, shares her thoughts about wearing a mask during basketball practice and performance at MHS. 

Junior Mrguda says, “I find it difficult at times to catch my breath. During practice or a game, I don’t have time to think about catching my breath. I have to keep going.”

Student-athletes, like Almedia Mrguda, don’t realize that masks are actually providing some benefit to their respiratory system. 

“I don’t think there is any other benefit to wearing a mask other than preventing the coronavirus,” says Mrguda.

Masks can be used as tools to improve exercise performance and the respiratory system as a whole. You may be wondering how not being able to breathe could help your respiratory system. It’s simple when you actually take some time to think about it.

Jack Silies, senior and wrestler at MHS, provides his opinion on wearing masks. 

“I think one of the biggest challenges that I face while wearing a mask is struggling to breathe while wrestling. Masks for me tend to be more of an annoying task. They can be easy to forget and easy to lose.”

According to healthline.com, wearing a mask while training or performing some type of physical activity can result in better lung function and performance. While performing physical activity, typically your body starts to adjust to the reduced oxygen intake. This makes your heart and lungs work harder in order to breathe which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

Because your body is limited to the amount of oxygen you take in, when you are able to take off your mask and breathe, your body inhales much more oxygen making your body use it more efficiently. This helps improve performance in physical activity.

Although some may disagree that masks don’t provide any other benefits besides keeping others safe from the spread of the coronavirus, there are studies and articles that prove that wearing masks while doing physical activity could help your respiratory system get stronger.