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#006: MASK 4 MASC
what are your tips for exercising with a mask on?
I’m happy to say that gyms are finally open in my part of the world – woohoo!!
However, one of the new requirements is that you MUST wear a mask during your workouts.
But Austin… is that actually safe?
Yes! New research has shown that (if you are healthy) your heart rate and breathing are not at risk when performing exercise with a mask on.
We all know that wearing a mask is important to flatten the COVID-19 curve but it’s also awkward and uncomfortable.
So what can you do about it?
Here are my top 3 tips when it comes to working out with a mask on…
1. Focus on your (nose) breathing
Breath is one of the most important aspects of working out and it’s often overlooked.
Masks are forcing people to focus on slow controlled breathing to avoid getting lightheaded, which isn’t a bad thing.
Focusing on your breath is one step towards building your mind-muscle connection which is responsible for more body control through active muscle engagement.
Breathing in and out through your nose will also decrease the amount of moisture that accumulates on the mask.
2. Wear the right mask (and wash it regularly)
Cloth masks made of a moisture wicking material, such as polyester, with no more than 2 layers are ideal.
But you don’t want your mask to get damp because it significantly decreases its effectiveness. And a moist mask also promotes bacteria growth… gross… make sure you wash your masks regulary.
But Austin, I’m going to sweat… I’m at a gym. My mask WILL get wet…
My pro tip here is to always bring a spare mask to the gym and switch it out when your current mask starts to feel damp.
3. Listen to your body (know your limit)
You can’t expect to jump right back into working out at maximum capacity. Your body will need some time to adjust to the reduced oxygen intake from wearing your mask.
Not to mention some of us (aka me) haven’t seen the inside of a gym for over 3 months… so take it slow.
slow and steady wins the race after all.
If you ever feel dizziness, fatigue or drowsiness when exercising with your mask on, stop what you are doing and take a break until they subside.
Working out in a mask is weird and uncomfortable but it’s required (in Canada).
So… suck it up buttercup. Everyone is in the same boat and instead of complaining about it, try to focus on your breathing, keep your fitted mask dry, and listen to your body.
Also, give yourself permission to start slow. this is new to everyone and our bodies will need time to adjust.
What type of mask do you recommend for working out?
I’m just using a basic cloth mask, but I’m in need of an upgrade and would love your suggestions.
Let me know in the comments below.
Here are some excellent resources if you are interested in reading more on this topic,