The do’s and don’ts of Exercising in a face mask – COVID19

A mask provides extra security to you when you end up in too close proximity to someone. During the early month of April, CDC advised people to cover their faces with cloth masks in public areas. Since that recommendation, Exercising in a face mask in public areas has become a social norm. The joggers and bicyclists are also wearing masks these days.

The assistance on wearing masks during exercising outdoors varies in terms of location.

To exemplify, in many parts of the USA, face masks are not required when a person exercises outdoors. However, they are advised to have a handy face mask with them and wear that when they cannot maintain a distance of six-foot. On the other hand, in other parts of the USA, it is mandatory to wear a face mask while running or biking, to eliminate the chances of spreading the virus by respiration. Let us keep the rules and regulations aside and practical considerations. Before we analyze this, let us be clear. It is obvious that the workout done in public places is never more crucial than public safety. Exercise is crucial for your mental and physical health at this perturbed time, but you must assure that it is not dangerous for your community.

If we want to stop the spread of COVID-19, we must take some steps to avoid its transmission. It also includes those people who need to run daily in the parks. So, they must take measures like wearing the face mask.

By wearing the Face Masks, you should follow the guidelines:

  • Assure yourself to be secured with ear loops or ties
  • Made up of multiple layers of fabric
  • Must be able to be laundered and can be dried in the machine without causing any change to its shape or any other sort of damage.
  • Without any restrictions, it must allow comfortable breathing

The face mask could be any old t-shirt or bandana, but you must bear in mind that your nose and mouth must be covered whenever you step outside your home.

Some do’s and don’ts of Exercising in a face mask

It is entirely your personal decision whether you want to wear a mask or not. To be effective, it needs to cover your mouth and nose completely. It also does not need to be too tight that it presses your face. However, it must be snug enough that if you cough, nothing must be projected outside it. The basic purpose of this mask is not protected from the virus. Its purpose is to prevent the aerosols that are coming out of your mouth and nose and are projected at other people.

After you are finished with the workout, it is significant to take off the mask and avoid touching the part that contains the respiratory droplets. It must also be kept in mind not to reuse the mask without washing it.

There could be certain questions that can exist in your mind regarding Exercising in a face mask as follows:

Does wearing the mask improves the benefit of training that you get from running, by training your chest muscles and lungs to get used to working hard to inhale enough breath?

It can be said that the mask serves as a proxy for altitude training which cuts down the amount of oxygen that gets into your lungs. The altitude training works by putting you in oxygen deficiency that stimulates your body to enhance the production of red blood cells. Breathing through a face mask cannot replicate this effect. It is possible that a mask can make it a little harder to breathe while running but cannot change your oxygen for sure.

Are there any drawbacks to wearing masks during running? 

If you are having any problem in breathing, you are expelling moisture and also the mask could become saturated instantly. When it happens, the properties of filtration become less efficient and act as a barrier. That is why some of people find it hard to do running in the mask. it causes anxiety in them.

What is the solution?

Run at those places where it is unlikely that you will see other people. Also, keep a face-covering mask down around your neck and pull it up when you notice anyone around. Wearing a mask when you are running could be a hurdle for you. it could also mean for you that you cannot do regular workout, but at the time of the pandemic, it just a small sacrifice to make.

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