Intensive endurance exercise can increase aerosol particle emission by over 100-fold, and there is evidence that SARS-CoV-2 has spread during indoor group exercise. However, data on aerosol particle emission during resistance exercise (i.e., weightlifting) and for “real-life” endurance or resistance training sessions are limited. To fill this knowledge gap, we measured aerosol particle emission during resistance exercise and real-life exercise sessions. We observed that aerosol particle emission increased 10-fold during resistance exercise. Furthermore, we calculated that the infection risk for a real-life spinning class (i.e., cycle ergometer exercise) is sixfold higher than for a resistance exercise session. Thus, during waves of aerosol-mediated infections with severe consequences, exercisers should mainly do resistance training and do especially high intensity endurance training outdoors.
We published our current study in PNAS. If you want to read the full paper you can follow this link.
Respiratory aerosol particle emission and simulated infection risk is greater during indoor endurance than resistance exercise. Schumm B, Heiber M, Grätz F, Stabile L, Buonanno G, Schönfelder M, Hain R, Kähler CJ, Wackerhage H. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2023 Feb 28;120(9):e2220882120. doi: 10.1073/pnas.2220882120. Epub 2023 Feb 21. PMID: 36802418