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Exercising Outside With a Face Mask: Safety Tips to Remember

Exercising Outside With a Face Mask: Safety Tips to Remember

These days, it’s very important for anyone going outside to wear a face mask in order to keep safe. For people trying to stay fit and healthy, this also means exercising outside with a face mask on.

But just how safe is exercising outside with a face mask on? Does it obstruct your breathing, or should you be able to breathe normally? Read on to learn more and find out what safety tips you need to remember.

How safe is exercising outside with a face mask?

exercising outside with a face mask

For most people, wearing a face mask outside should not pose a big problem. A lot of people have already gotten used to wearing a mask, and it doesn’t affect their daily activities whatsoever.

But what about when you’re engaging in strenuous physical activity, such as exercise or sports? Won’t wearing a face mask make breathing more difficult, especially since your body requires more oxygen during physical activity?

The answer is that wearing a mask should not affect how you breathe, even during exercise.

In fact, it’s much more important to wear a mask during exercise, especially if you’re around other people. This is because you’re taking in more air, and this makes you even more prone to inhaling droplets that might contain COVID-19 or other viruses.

Of course, there are also some safety tips to remember whenever you’re wearing a mask during exercise.

1. Use a two-layer mask for safety and comfort

First off, your choice of mask dictates how safe you are, as well as the level of comfort you have whenever you’re working out.

Having a mask that’s too thick might be safe, but it can make breathing even more difficult. On the other hand, a mask that’s too thin might not offer a lot of protection, though it will be easier to breathe through.

This is why the best mask to wear would be a two-layer mask since it offers both protection and comfort whenever you’re exercising outside.

exercising outside with a face mask

2. Try to avoid strenuous exercise

During low-intensity exercise, most people without breathing problems should have no trouble wearing a mask.

However, moderate and high intensity exercise can prove difficult because the body needs more oxygen during these activities. Wearing a mask during these activities might affect your breathing, so it is generally best to avoid strenuous exercise when wearing a mask.

Ideally, you should do these exercises indoors or in places where there’s nobody else around you. A good rule to follow would be to wear masks if there are people within 12 feet of you.

exercising outside with a face mask

3. Always disinfect your face mask after use

Another important thing to remember is to always disinfect your face mask after use. This helps kill off any viruses or germs that might be on the mask, and helps keep it safe and sterile.

It’s also a good idea to wash your hands after touching your mask, and avoid touching any other parts of your face. This way, you can directly lower the risk that you might get infected by germs on the surface of the mask.

As a rule, it would be best to avoid touching anything outdoors because surfaces can serve as sources of infection.

The Best Exercises to Get Back in Shape

4. Always bring a spare mask

If you sweat a lot, you might notice your mask getting soaked with sweat. This can make breathing very difficult, and can put a lot of strain on your lungs. This is why it is a good idea to take a spare mask with you.

Just be sure to put the mask you just used in a sealed container, and disinfect it as soon as possible to avoid spreading germs around.

Choosing masks that dry easily, or have materials that wick moisture away from your face would be ideal.

5. Ask for your doctor’s advice

Lastly, if you have any lung or breathing problems, be sure to talk to your doctor first. They would best be able to give you advice on whether or not you should be exercising outside with a face mask on.

Key Takeaways

If you feel any discomfort while wearing a mask during exercise, it would be best to tone down your workout or take a break.

Be sure to pay attention to how you feel and how you breathe when wearing a face mask, in order to better gauge your ability to work out with a mask on.

Learn more about fitness, here.

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Sources

(PDF) Year of the face mask: do`s and don’ts during exercise – Short report, https://www.researchgate.net/publication/343343797_Year_of_the_face_mask_dos_and_don’ts_during_exercise_-_Short_report, Accessed December 1, 2020

Should You Wear a Face Mask When Running Outdoors? – Health Essentials from Cleveland Clinic, https://health.clevelandclinic.org/should-you-wear-a-face-mask-when-running-outdoors/, Accessed December 1, 2020

Do Runners, Bikers, Walkers And Hikers Need To Wear Masks? : Goats and Soda : NPR, https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2020/06/27/882866178/masks-and-the-outdoor-exerciser-advice-for-runners-bikers-walkers-hikers, Accessed December 1, 2020

Is It Safe to Exercise Outside Without a Mask?, https://www.stlukeshealth.org/resources/it-safe-exercise-outside-without-mask, Accessed December 1, 2020

Whether to Exercise in a Mask | University of Maryland Medical System, https://www.umms.org/coronavirus/what-to-know/masks/exercise-mask, Accessed December 1, 2020

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Written by Jan Alwyn Batara Updated Dec 03, 2020
Fact Checked by Hello Doctor Medical Panel
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