Sweating Behind the Mask: Is it Safe to Wear a Face Covering While Working Out?
Exercising regularly is a part of being healthy, but it isn’t always easy. This is especially true nowadays with COVID and all the complications that come with it. Finding the right time and place to get in enough exercise can be tricky due to lockdowns and quarantines. There is also the question of wearing a face-covering during exercise. This is now mandatory in all gyms in New Jersey. So how does a person run on a treadmill or lift weights with a mask? While it might not be the most comfortable workout, people are doing it and so far it has seemed manageable.
One concern was that breathing would be impaired while exercising with a mask. However, a recent study published in the medical journal Annals of the American Thoracic Society shows that wearing a facemask doesn’t negatively impact how our lungs function. If you’ve worn a facemask during exercise, then you’re familiar with how it feels, but it’s just that, it feels restrictive, but apparently does not physically cause difficulty breathing. The only exception, the study noted, was in people who had cardiopulmonary (heart and lungs) related health problems from before Covid. Overall, that means you should have a green light to wear a face mask during exercise if you don't have any underlying heart or lung issues.
We know the tremendous physical and mental benefits of exercise, and for people running on the treadmill in the gym with a mask, the benefits of fitness obviously outweigh the inconvenience of a mask.