OK we don’t love working out in a mask but we also don’t like being locked away in our homes. So, it’s what we need to do for the time being for our health and for the health of others.

While it isn’t exactly comfortable wearing a mask during cardio or strength training you also aren’t hurting yourself — that is because you are not inhaling your own carbon dioxide. However; depending on your activity level and the type of mask you could be restricting oxygen to your brain. There are ways to manage this that are safe albeit not ideal.

While some people report severe discomfort while working out in a mask, many people are getting used to it. So what is the key to exercising in a mask? Practice and moderation.

According to Dr. Matt Dacso, internal medicine clinician at UTMB of Houston “It feels suffocating to be behind a cloth for some people, but that is a different problem than breathing in your own CO2, which immediately dispels when leaving your mouth,” Dacso said. “To date, no studies have ever shown anybody who works in an environment where they wear a mask has any differences in oxygen saturation or difference in CO2 levels.”

Also complicating mask wearing and exercise? It’s summertime in Colorado – and it is hot! So finding the right mask (effective and comfortable), the right location, temperature AND activity is paramount. Walking or running outdoors – or exercising in a park with plenty of social distancing space is preferred to working out indoors in a gym. But the heat in some areas makes that impossible. Consider online workouts at home – where you can ease into mask wearing and make sure you are comfortable and ready to safely exercise indoors and masked only if you have no other options.

You will find like with most things, the more often you exercise with a mask, the more comfortable and well adjusted your body and mind become.

While Colorado Governor Jared Polis has not issued a mandate requiring masks, many municipalities have including Denver.

“Hereby finding that wearing a face covering, in combination with physical distancing of at least 6 feet and frequent hand-washing, may reduce the risk of transmitting the COVID-19 virus when in public and engaged in necessary activities by reducing the spread of respiratory droplets, this “FACE COVERING ORDER” (“Order”) requires that people wear Face Coverings in certain public settings as further described below.”

At Orthopedic Associates we are taking the Face Covering order seriously – and we hope you are too. Remember when exercising space and face coverings are key to maintaining your health. Listen to your body, and listen to the experts.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *