Exercise Lab at UNM helping people achieve healthier lifestyles

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Researchers at the University of New Mexico are working overtime to help people get healthy.

The university’s Exercise Lab is used to give students hands-on experience or help with research.

They are currently doing a study on exercising while wearing a mask.

"We’re interested in looking at is not only the physiological responses but how difficult it is – the perceptual responses," said Ph.D student Andrew Wells.

Lab director Dr. Christine Mermier said the pandemic highlighted the need to be healthy.

"Because if you’re always on Zoom, even when you’re at the office, you maybe walk to your meeting, and now people are just sitting," she said.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, between March and December 2020, nearly 80% of people who were hospitalized needed a ventilator or died from COVID, were overweight or obese.

"Research has come out, people that exercise regularly did better even when they were hospitalized," Mermier said.

Even though the lab is usually used by researchers, it’s also open to the public.

The lab also provides blood work, body composition tests, exercise testing and metabolic analysis.