Exercising with Masks - Do's and Don'ts

As many of our members know, with the newest executive order given by Governor Hogan, we are now requiring ALL members to wear face coverings until further notice. With this recent change, it has come to our attention that many of our members have some understandable concerns, the biggest being ‘how safe’ it is to use a mask during exercise. We at Paxfitnessrx would like to assure our members that most people can perform their normal workout routine while wearing a mask with no problems. With that being said, for those who have a pre-existing respiratory or cardiovascular condition, we recommend consulting with their doctor first before returning to their regular fitness routine.

For the safety of our members we have put together a list of recommendations for our members to follow in order to help them stay safe while exercising with a mask:

  • We encourage all members to reduce their exercise intensity as it is common for one’s heart rate to elevate while exercising with a mask versus when they do not. It is also important to monitor.

  • If you feel dizzy, lightheaded, or short of breath we recommend slowing down and/or stopping exercise until these symptoms go away. If symptoms persist, we ask that you notify a staff member and step outside to remove the covering, allowing for greater airflow into the lungs.

  • It is common for one to notice they are not able to complete a ‘normal’ workout or feel more fatigued than usual both during and after a workout when using a mask. Do not become discouraged; it may take numerous workouts before being able to work back up to a regular exercise intensity.

  • Check to see if your mask restricts your breathing PRIOR to exercise. If so, it will not be a good choice to wear during exercise.

  • If you will be exercising for more than 30 minutes, it is recommended to bring extra masks to replace the mask being worn as it becomes damp. This is because as the mask becomes damp, it can make it harder to breathe.

  • Try to avoid paper masks during exercise as they can quickly become wet when we breathe into them vigorously, causing them to not only lose some of their ability to block outgoing germs, but also making it harder to breathe.

  • If you do not like the thought of wearing a cloth mark while exercising, consider other options such as bandanas, neck gaiters (or buffs), or face shields.

  • For those who wear glasses, to prevent them from fogging, ensure the mask is snug over the nose. Furthermore, try washing the glasses with soapy water (without rinsing them off) and letting them air dry, which is said to help reduce fogging.

  • Avoid touch the outside of the mask as it may become contaminated.

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