Is there a Downside to wearing a Mask during Exercise?

The pandemic has forced us to perform more of our activities outdoors. As a result, hiking, strolling, riding a bike or just jogging has become a challenge to practice social distancing. Most people feel that it is uncomfortable and harder to breathe wearing a mask while exercising. Many wonder if they are getting the same benefits that a good workout provides while wearing a mask. Two studies have shown that wearing a mask does not hinder the effects of vigorous training. An older study focused on health care workers and how masks affected their work and found that it did not. According to a new study Published in The Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science it found little if any noticeable differences in heart rate, blood pressure, oxygen saturation, respiratory rates and current carbon dioxide levels. Sixteen participants were asked to ride stationary bikes in an uphill slant until they reached the point of exhaustion. The athletes performed 3 sessions and in one they were allowed to remove the masks. Test results showed no difference in all the above markers. A second study, with fourteen men and women was conducted in the same manner and published in The International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health also found no difference in performance or difficulty in the results of wearing or not wearing a mask. The studies dealt mainly with cycling, but it is safe to say the same results would be found during any vigorous exercise. But it is important to remember that these studies were done with healthy individuals and may affect someone differently if they have breathing difficulties or are not very active differently.

Weight Loss without Exercise…

It is a fact that in order to lose weight, exercise should be a major component in speeding up your metabolism. However, there are a few tips, though they may sound strange, have been proven to help.






  • Surround yourself with Blue. Color can function as an appetite suppressant. Many fast-food restaurants use bright colors as part of their décor. Researchers have found that people eat 33% less in a blue room or when they dine on blue plates.
  • Light a Vanilla Scented Candle. The aroma has been shown to dampen dessert cravings. One group of 160 volunteers lost an average of 4.5lbs with this method.
  • Brighter Lights and Softer Music. Dimmer romantic lighting in restaurants encourages the ordering of more food. Soft music encourages slow chewing as opposed to a hectic pace brought on by fast paced tunes.
  • Stick to Wrapped Candy. Having to unwrap a piece of candy takes time and keeping the used wrappers in front of you will serve as a reminder of how much you have already eaten.

Baked Rice with White Beans, Leeks and Lemon…

Time: 1hour      Servings: 4






  • 4 leeks (about 2lbs.), trimmed and cut into ¼ pieces
  • 1 lemon
  • ¼ cup raw almonds
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 5 teaspoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1½ cups uncooked Basmati rice
  • 1 (15oz. can) of white beans
  • 2½ cups boiling water
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan
  • ¼ cup of each finely chopped- basil, mint, chives
  • Feel free to add other vegetables



  • 1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  • Cut strips of lemon zest ¼ thick with a peeler and cut into small pieces
  • Reserve lemon for later
  • 2) In a 9” by 12” pan combine leeks, lemon zest, almonds, red pepper flakes and olive oil
  • Arrange in a layer and roast for 20 minutes until leeks caramelize
  • 3) stir mixture, arrange an even layer in pan and add layer of uncooked rice and then layer of beans-cover with tin foil and bake for 22 minutes.
  • 4) Remove from the oven, let sit for 5 minutes, fluff with fork, squeeze half of lemon over mixture and mix in Parmesan cheese and herbs, salt and pepper


            Taken from the New York Times


The Pawpaw is an ancient, North American tree. Its fruit has a natural defense mechanism that is known to repel deer, insects and disease. It is a creamy fruit when ripe and has a taste more like a combination of banana, pineapple, vanilla and mango. Until recently it could only be found at farmers markets or on Facebook. The fruit are high in minerals, vitamins and calories for energy. There are over 40 varieties of Pawpaw. The trees remain small which makes it desirable for growing in city gardens. It is pollinated by flies as opposed to honeybees. It does not flower all at once but gradually over a period of three weeks which prevents the whole crop from being destroyed if there is a frost. Pawpaw trees need two to pollinate and mostly grow in the wild. However, they are being cultivated on American Indian lands as the movement to return to  native culture is being reborn. This was lost by colonization.