Tips & Tricks for Working Out in a Mask (Plus, the Best Athletic Masks)
By: Kelly Brown
We know…working out in a mask isn’t ideal. But, it is doable and after a while, you will adjust to it. It’s a simple tradeoff to be able to work out in the gyms and studios we love again!
First, it’s doubly important to wear a mask when exercising because it can be hard, if not impossible, to maintain the recommended 6ft of distance. Remaining distant while also wearing a mask are important guidelines for helping to reduce the risk of contracting or spreading Coronavirus.
Yes, wearing a mask while working out does feel different. But, it doesn’t have to completely disrupt your workout. Here’s what you need to know.
Wearing a Mask While Working Out is Different, But You’ll Adjust
Regardless of what exercise you’re doing, wearing a mask can make it feel like you can’t get enough air or just make it harder to breathe in general. The reason it happens is simple: anything covering your nose and mouth will block airflow. Because of this added resistance, you’ll have to breathe faster. Don’t let that scare you! You’ll still be able to get the air you need, you’ll just work harder to get it.
This also means your heart rate will also likely be higher during workouts because your body is under greater cardiovascular demand. Additionally, workouts might feel harder because you’re hotter. It would be the same effect if you wore a sweatshirt for an entire kickboxing class. On top of that, the very real fact is that many of us have lost our normal exercise routine due to the pandemic and are still working to regain the level of fitness we had at the start of the year.
So, it’s important to remember to take your time. You might move slower but moving is always better than not moving.
Exercising in a Mask is Perfectly Safe (for Most People)
It’s always a good idea to check with your doctor if you have any concerns about exercising with a mask, or if you have a pre-existing medical condition. For most people, working out in a face covering is perfectly safe. The beauty of the human body is that it was built to adapt! While working out in a face mask might be difficult for the first few weeks, your body will gradually adapt to make breathing while exercising with a face covering a little easier.
Still, it’s important to listen to your body. If you start to feel dizzy, unsteady, or lightheaded, head outside and remove your mask (socially distanced from others), and take some deep breaths.
Remember to Hydrate
It seems silly, but something about wearing a mask seems to prevent us from drinking as much water as we should. But hydrating while exercising in a face covering is more important due to the increased heart rate and cardiovascular stress you’ll be under.
There’s no hard rule on how much water you should drink during a workout but stopping to hydrate regularly is a good practice. Plus, it will give you a chance to rest, take a deep breath, and get back to crushing your gym goals.
Pick the Right Mask
When it’s all said and done, working out in a mask really boils down to what mask you choose to wear. Similar to the perfect pair of leggings, there is no one size fits all mask…everyone will like something different! We recommend a few options to try out if you still haven’t found the perfect fit:
Athleta Made to Move Mask: Adjustable, breathable fabric and available in sets of 3 so you’ll always have a fresh mask ready for your next workout.
UA Sportsmask: Designed to sit high off the face for added breathability and comfort.
Onzie Mindful Mask: Created from performance fabrics for ultimate moisture-wicking and durability.