Keeping up your weight loss routine in the current pandemic crisis environment looks considerably different than it would have at the same time last year. Distancing, masks, closed businesses and restricted or altered experiences among open businesses help to protect us from the spread of COVID-19 but is definitely taking some adapting. This includes learning how to wear a mask and when.
Intense activity is most comfortably done without a mask. The need to breathe quickly and deeply is made more uncomfortable by most mask designs and a wet mask is no longer as effective as a dry one. If you aren’t sweating from your intense workout, it may not be as integral a part of your weight loss routine as you’d hoped.
Therefore, it’s typically considered to be easiest to get through your weight loss routine workouts without a mask, either in your own home or outside in a space that is not crowded. Going to a gym conforming with the proper precautions may also be an option for you, provided that the right distancing is possible, and a mask is worn between stations and when entering and exiting the premises.
If your only place to exercise means that you’ll be occasionally or regularly in close proximity to other people, it’s best to wear a mask at least during those times. Research has examined this issue and has some recommendations with the way masks can be used even when exercising comes with some intensity, when we must move through crowded public spaces and shared indoor locations.
To start, wearing the right face covering is integral. Bandanas, neck gaiters, single-layer masks and fleece masks are all essentially ineffective. In fact, some tests showed that those types of mask allow the expulsion of more droplets in the air than would be the case without any mask. If these are what you have been wearing, it’s time to switch up your strategy.
According to the British Journal of Sports Medicine website, even if it’s not as comfortable wearing a mask while exercising, you are still more than able to get enough oxygen for your body’s needs. Therefore, the strategy must involve “balancing benefits versus possible adverse events.”
Many people who have kept up their weight loss routine workouts have found that they simply needed to try a few different shapes of mask, since each design fits slightly differently. As a result, different mask shapes are best suited to different forms of activity. Some are better for running while others are best for walking, driving, shopping, or sitting at a computer station for hours at work. It can take some experimentation, but a bit of trial-and-error can make things much easier in the long run of your long run.