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9 Tips for Wearing Masks During Your Workout
Mary with COVID Mask
November 17, 2020

Okay, I’m going to complain for a minute; but just stick with me for some important info!

So, exercising with masks on…I’m not going to lie; it’s not easy! How many of you are feeling the same way? My guess is there are quite a few of you.

See if any of this sounds familiar:

  • You feel more fatigued
  • You feel like you can’t catch your breath
  • You’re not able to work at the intensity level you were able to before
  • Your heart is beating faster than what is typical during exercise
  • You feel like you’re overheating
  • You’re dizzy and nauseous
  • You’re breathing the cloth of your mask into your nostrils and mouth
  • You feel that pool of sweat collecting in the bottom of your mask

I felt all of these things during the first week of exercising with a mask. And I griped about it…A LOT. Nobody likes the new requirements, but if we’re going to keep others healthy and the gyms open, we need to adjust.

So instead of spending my energy this week being upset by this, I need to change my mindset and look for ways to adapt. As the sign in my studio says, “Suck it up, Buttercup”! I guess that’s what I’m going to have to do.

After doing a little research, here is some information that may help you to adjust to this change:

  1. If you have cardiovascular or respiratory conditions, it is important to talk with your physician to determine if exercising in a mask is appropriate. Also, if you have discomfort during or after exercise, seek medical attention.
  2. Don’t expect that you’ll be able to work out at the same intensity as before. You’ll need to reset your expectations for the first several weeks.
  3. Start slow and gradually build up your workout intensity.
  4. Shorten your workouts and/or take frequent breaks and stop if you aren’t feeling well.
  5. Hydrate – be sure you drink enough during the day and bring extra water with you.
  6. If you’re going to work out for more than 30 minutes, switch out your mask halfway through the workout.
  7. Wear a mask that you can breathe in but just remember the thinner the mask, the more you’ll want to distance from others. You may have to experiment to see what works best for you.
  8. Don’t wear a paper mask since those get damp pretty quickly, and that just feels icky!
  9. If you are having difficulty catching your breath, breathe in through your nose to the count of 4, hold that breath for 4 seconds, and exhale it out for 4 seconds. Do that a few times, and you’ll probably feel better.

I know this is a difficult adjustment for us, but given time, your body should get used to it. Just be patient with yourself. Nothing about 2020 has been normal, but do what’s best for you and be proud of yourself for being the masked badass that you are! 🦋

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