Phone, keys, wallet… face mask. Right now, face masks are needed for practically every activity where you might come into contact with another person, including the gym.
So how do you get the most out of your workout (and remain safe) while wearing your face covering?
Wearing a Mask During Exercise
Many scientists have also been studying the benefits and adversities of wearing a mask during exercise. While wearing a mask may seem unpleasant, you’re still encouraged to wear one to avoid potentially spreading any infectious particles throughout an indoor environment.
People suffering from any pre-existing respiratory conditions – such as COPD, asthma, cystic fibrosis, chronic bronchitis, pulmonary fibrosis, or any other condition affecting their heart and lungs – should consult their physician before attempting to exercise with a face mask. The American Council on Exercise found one’s heart rate will likely increase 8-10 beats per minute while wearing a mask, but that would only be noticeable during high-intensity exercises.
To Do or Not To Do
Do: Wear a cloth face covering made from synthetic materials. These tend to hold less moisture and will allow you to breathe easier. Try to get cloth masks that have two layers or fewer to prevent overheating.
Don’t: Wear a paper mask or any form of surgical/PPE wear. These accumulate a ton of moisture and result in difficult breathing and diminished effectiveness to block any germs.
Do: Take a break. Exercising with anything covering your nose and mouth will restrict the amount of oxygen going to your lungs. If you start feeling dizzy, nauseous, shortness of breath, numbing, or tingling, that’s your body warning you your oxygen is running low. It’s essential to listen to your body, and if it tells you to slow down.
Don’t: Overexert yourself. If you haven’t worked out in a while, wearing a mask could make getting back into the rhythm even harder. Take it slow. Overexertion can trigger other adverse effects, which could lead to serious health risks and complications that could further restrict your gym time.
In person or Online, Just do it!
But if you are more comfortable staying away from the gym during this time, there are still plenty of ways to achieve your health and fitness goals.
- Try at home workouts and online personal training sessions.
- Join a live virtual fitness class [PDF]
- Go for a nutrition overhaul! We know snacking is tempting in times of uncertainty but try to go for carrots and hummus versus chips and dip. Let Woman’s Nutrition help you get back on track.
- Take your workout outdoors. Sunshine and sweat is the perfect combo.
Let’s Woman’s Fitness and Nutrition keep you in shape and safe. We’re here to help.