The early days of the new normal were difficult for everyone. Wearing a mask has been the biggest change that we have had to adapt to. We’ve come a long way since then, adding masks to colour coordinate with our OOTDs and even to bridal ensembles.The question is, do we add it to our workout gear? Let’s find out.But, first let's clarify the biggest misconception about masks -They interfere with the concentration of oxygen when we breathe
In truth, the concentration of oxygen that is available to a person without a mask vs with a mask on does not change. The pores of the mask are large enough to allow oxygen to come through. The only reason you feel uncomfortable is because you're not used to wearing a mask. In fact, it is the airflow - volume of air one inhales and exhales - that gets affected when you wear a mask.
Now back to the main question - do you need to wear a mask while working out?
The short answer, yes! Strong exhalations during a workout help to regulate body temperature. Also, natural actions such as coughing or sneezing are hard to control. As a result we may spit droplets. A mask prevents these aerosols from circulating and thus makes the gym safe for you and for everyone.
So, what kind of mask should you wear while working out?
There are a large variety of face masks in a variety of materials. It is recommended to wear a 2- or 3-ply cotton mask or even a single use mask. Do not wear N95 masks.So, a light or moderate workout with a fabric mask or even a single use mask, is no problem at all! Keep in mind that these masks can get wet because of sweat, so, keep a change handy.
It is not recommended to do vigorous exercises with a mask on.
This is because while doing vigorous exercises air regulation through the mouth is less thereby impacting the regulation of body temperature. For this very reason, workout routines at cult centers have been modified for safety of our customers.
What to do if you are working out alone at the gym?
Well, even then, your mask should be on because asymptomatic carriers of covid are a great risk of spreading the virus. Why risk an infection, right?
Is there anyone who shouldn't wear a mask?
People with chronic respiratory and cardiac problems should not use mask while exercising. They should workout at home alone.
What about face visors?
Face visors are an additional layer of protection and in no way a replacement for masks. They alone are not sufficient. They provide insufficient protection against floating, infected droplets. They aren’t sealed and allow air to enter one’s nostrils and mouth. Use them if you must, but, never without a mask.Lastly, sanitise diligently, maintain social distancing at all times, and wear the right mask - all of which will ensure that you, and everyone you’re working out with are safe. Don’t forget to clean your masks every day to ensure maximum safety!