As gyms and other exercise facilities begin to reopen after lockdown, it’s highly possible that they will require members to wear masks while working out. Even if you choose to do your exercise outside, you might also be obligated to wear a face covering out of respect to others around you. As if getting back into shape after quarantine wasn’t difficult enough, a mask will without a doubt add a further challenge. Lace up your comfortable shoes because we’re about to explore the ins and outs of wearing a mask while exercising.
How Safe Is Wearing A Mask While Exercising?
Most people can safely wear a mask while exercising as you should still be able to get an adequate amount of oxygen. However, if you experience any trouble breathing or lightheadedness, you should stop right away and remove the mask. If you have respiratory conditions like asthma or cardiovascular health issues, ask your doctor before attempting exercise with a mask on. It could be dangerous and it would be safer to workout in your home without a mask.
How Is Breathing Affected By A Mask?
All masks will have some impact on your airflow. Depending on what type of mask you have and the breathability of the material, you may find it to be not at all bothersome, or it may strongly impact your breathing and exercise performance. Your body takes in more oxygen while working out, so having a covering that restricts breathing may affect your overall performance. It is likely that you will become more fatigued sooner than you normally would, so don’t push yourself past your limits with the mask.
Signs You Should Stop Exercising
While wearing a mask, you should look out for the following signs that you are not getting enough oxygen and stop immediately. Once you remove the mask, take deep breaths.
- Shortness of breath
How To Check Your Oxygen Levels
First and foremost is to listen to your body. If you do not experience any of the symptoms listed above, you can continue to exercise normally with a mask on. You can also check your oxygen levels with a pulse oximeter, which will let you know exactly how much oxygen is in your bloodstream.
As your body gets used to the reduced airflow while wearing a mask, it will eventually become stronger because of this restriction. It’s like hiking at a high altitude - it’s more strenuous, but you will be stronger after the experience and able to cope with less air. When you are finally able to work out without the mask, you will feel incredible!
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Rae Steinbach is a graduate of Tufts University with a combined International Relations and Chinese degree. After spending time living and working abroad in China, she returned to NYC to pursue her career and continue curating quality content. Rae is passionate about travel, food, and writing for Taos Footwear.
Founder Ray Spotts has a passion for all things natural and has made a life study of nature as it relates to health and well-being. Ray became a forerunner bringing products to market that are extraordinarily effective and free from potentially harmful chemicals and additives. For this reason Ray formed Trusted Health Products, a company you can trust for clean, effective, and healthy products. Ray is an organic gardener, likes fishing, hiking, and teaching and mentoring people to start new businesses. You can get his book for free, “How To Succeed In Business Based On God’s Word,” at www.rayspotts.com.