If you ever ventured out with a face mask on a normal day, you’d probably get strange looks from people but within the paradigm of the new normal, it has become commonplace and mandatory for everyone to wear a mask. As the lockdown is being slowly lifted and people are beginning to slowly get back to their outdoor workout routines, does it make sense to wear a mask while exercising outdoors?
Should You Wear A Mask While Exercising Outdoors?
Wearing a face mask while exercising outdoors helps prevent the spread of the virus, but it can also lead to breathing difficulties. When you are running, jogging, doing any activity which increases your respiratory rate, the oxygen requirement goes up several times and you need to inhale that much more air to deliver the required oxygen to the body.
A mask can restrict airflow in and out of the mouth and nose, creating a situation where oxygen and carbon dioxide exchange are compromised. There’s a possibility that you may not be able to fulfil the increased oxygen requirement when exercising with a mask on. There are chances of inhaling the exhaled carbon dioxide. This can create health complications, especially in people with weaker lungs, chronic bronchitis, asthma and other health complications.
Symptoms You Might Experience While Wearing a Mask and Exercising Include:
- Loss of consciousness
Precautions To Be Taken While Exercising Outdoors
Though it is important to wear a face mask in an enclosed space where social distancing may not be possible – like when going out for work, when using public transport or at grocery stores, restaurants, malls, etc. but when it comes to exercising with a mask on, be cautious.
- Listen to your body: You may feel fatigue faster due to a mask, so do not push your exercise limits.
- Don’t ignore any of the symptoms mentioned above or any other difficulties and put a break on your exercise immediately.
- Wearing a face mask or not is a matter of social distancing. For someone walking/running and alone outside where social distancing is maintained, a mask isn’t required.
- Try exercises where you use the same spot. For instance, stationary cardio workout – you can pick a location where there aren’t any people around.
- Keep your distance and be mindful of others. Keep as much space between yourself and others as possible or bring a mask with you and put it on when needed. You can also put a face covering down around the neck and pull it up over your face if you encounter someone.
- Opt for a breathable, well-fitting face mask. Too tight can make you feel uneasy.
- Masks become wet when you wear them and can lead to skin infections. If you’re using a reusable mask, wash it regularly to prevent the build-up of bacteria.
We hope this article helps you. Do share your thoughts in the comments below!
Stay home, stay safe, get active and #BeTheForce