Cupid's Pulse Article: Fitness Tips for Working Out While Wearing a MaskCupid's Pulse Article: Fitness Tips for Working Out While Wearing a Mask

By Alycia Williams

During the pandemic it’s really important that we wear masks when going outdoors, but going on your morning runs can seem really difficult with a mask on. Wearing a mask should not exempt you from continuing with your exercise regime, but what is true is you need to know a few fitness tips before you embark on masked fitness, whether you are a seasoned athlete or just an enthusiast.

Here are some fitness tips for working out with a mask on:

1. Start slow and easy: Using the mask will increase the feeling of air hunger resulting from the accumulation of carbon dioxide, and what you need to do is gradually decrease your sensitivity to CO2. The best way to decrease your sensitivity and increase your tolerance to CO2 is to slow down your breath and train yourself with nasal breathing before your workout.

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2. Prepare your lungs: If you just workout without preparing your lungs, you’ll breathe fast and shallow, which makes you more prone to anxiety and performance fatigue. Before working out, start with a few slow breaths moving your belly and diaphragm. Your entire middle should expand as you inhale and squeeze as you exhale.

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3. Breath through your nose: Breathing through the nose will help you build up CO2 tolerance, despite making you feel that you are not fast or efficient enough.You will leave fewer water droplets on your mask and keep it drier while decreasing your exposure to viruses and pollution. Ideally, you have a few cloth masks in hand to change them, depending on the duration of your workout.

4. Ladies need to be extra careful: Women under the age of 48 need to be extra mindful, especially during their mental cycle. This is the time when your carbon dioxide levels drop by 25% caused by hormonal changes, and that typically means faster breathing, an increased heart rate, and a tendency towards fatigue and body pain, among other things. Be gentle with your body, take it easy and observe your body signals.

5. Find the right mask to workout in: Your comfortability is important, because if you’re working out in a mask that is uncomfortable it’ll lead to breathing heavier or not wearing it all. Try out different mask and find that one that’s right for you.

6. Plan for breaks: Although you may be used to doing your workout routine without any breaks, you may want to reconsider. Wearing a mask while working is going to create different experience for your body which will lead to your body becoming fatigued easier. Plan for some breaks in between your workout .

what are some more fitness tips for working out with a mask on? Start a conversation in the comments below!