So you need to wear a mask now when working out. If you are not wearing the proper one, it could make things more difficult than it needs to be. I will touch on some things that you need to consider when it comes to masks and working out.
First and foremost, wearing a mask while working out does NOT affect the amount of oxygen your body is taking in. (A doctor in the UK ran 21 miles to help debunk this myth) They do however reduce the rate at which you breathe and can also trap carbon dioxide.
It would be silly for me to say wearing a mask won’t be fun and won’t make you uncomfortable. But what I will tell you is that you will get used to it. You will likely forget it’s even there. You will just have another factor to consider when trying to achieve the stimulus of the workout.
The type of mask you wear is something you must heavily consider. You can’t wear your everyday, cloth ones. They will absorb all of the sweat on your face. They could also irritate your skin and fall off if not secured properly, which defeats the purpose of wearing them in the first place.
The best facemask for working out will keep you safe, comfortable, and dry.
The material you should be looking for is similar to what your workout clothes are made of: light-weight and moisture-wicking. You will also want your masks to be stretchy, so consider ones that say “elastane” or “spandex” on the tag. This will make sure your mask stays flexible and stays put on your face.
You will also want your mask to be breathable. Some workouts we do may cause you to feel like you are “suffocating”. Now imagine doing that same workout with a mask on. No bueno. It’s important that your mask stays away from your mouth. Try finding masks that address this problem or you can also put inserts in that will solve this issue.
Besides the mask itself, we must also consider how it’s going to affect the intensity at which you can workout, as you won’t be able to go as hard you normally would.
The first few workouts you do, start easy. Don’t push the pace. You will need to adjust to wearing the mask and you don’t want to overwhelm yourself.
Be sure to plan out how you are going to attack each workout, with regards to what weights you are using, when you are going to take breaks, and how quickly you plan to move. I know that might sound like nothing new to some of you, but it is even more important now than ever.
The more workouts you do while wearing a mask, the more acclimated you will become. Things will get easier. And be sure to have a positive mindset! Remember, we GET to workout. Yes, we have to wear masks, but at least we get to be inside the walls of the gym with our friends.
Obviously, the best situation is to not have to wear one, but sometimes staying committed to your fitness and health goals require some minor adjustments.
Your health and safety is our top priority. We will get through this together, stronger and healthier!