Exercising Outdoors During COVID-19: Do I Need a Mask

Coronavirus is still a problem in many areas of the country, and with it comes a variety of questions. One is, wondering if there are rules about wearing a mask for outdoor exercise or if you should wear one since there are no rules are saying you have to for outdoor exercise.

Will a mask affect exercise?

Most of us are used to wearing cloth face-coverings for basic tasks like grocery shopping or going to the bank. With that said, these are low-intensity activities. You are unlikely to breathe heavy or break a sweat when you are at the grocery store. 

Most people are concerned about airflow when it comes to exercising in a mask. Even if you are comfortable wearing a mask, you can feel how it restricts airflow in and out of your nose and mouth. 

Even with airflow restriction, wearing a mask will not deplete oxygen or result in a build-up of carbon dioxide. While exercising, the restricted airflow could make it a little more difficult to catch your breath if your workout is particularly intense. It may also cause you to feel fatigued a little sooner than you usually would. 

If you start to feel dizzy or short of breath when exercising in a mask, you should take a break and go to a safe distance from others. Take the mask off and rest until you feel comfortable putting it back on.

When to wear a mask for outdoor exercise

Wearing a mask is a good idea for any time you will be around other people, and there isn’t enough room for social distancing. When it comes to outdoor exercise, the need to wear a mask will depend on the circumstances.

If you are at a park with many people, you should bring a mask. If you can find a place to exercise away from other people, you may be able to take it off. If you are doing something like running or biking, and you may have to pass near other people, you should wear the mask.

If you are doing something like running or jogging in your neighborhood, have your mask with you, just in case. As long as your area isn’t that crowded, you can easily cross the road or distance if you come across the occasional person when out for a run.

Finding a face mask for exercise

If you plan to exercise outdoors, you might need to grab a mask after you slip into a pair of comfortable men’s sneakers. Since the mask might get sweaty or damp from heavy breathing, look for different (but still protective) mask options. 

For working out, you might want to go with a mask that is lighter than your normal one; breathability is critical. If possible, find a mask that is made from moisture-wicking fabric. That way, moisture won’t build up as quickly when you are exercising. 

As another point, you might want to bring a spare mask with you. If you have an extra mask, you can switch in the middle of your exercise routine, or even after. That will make it easier to stay comfortable when you are working out.

Even if it is a little uncomfortable, it is vital to wear a mask when you can’t socially distance. Your body can also adapt to wearing a mask when you exercise, so as long as you stick with it, it won’t be long before it seems like a regular part of your workout routine.

Post in collaboration with Taos Footwear

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