Should You Wear A Face Mask While Exercising?

By Amanda Roland
wear a face mask

Ever since the CDC recommended that everyone is equipped with a face mask out in public, the world has listened by making fabric masks or purchasing non-medical grade masks. We all know that we should be wearing these masks in places like the grocery store, hardware store and even at your essential workplace, but what about while we are working out? Do we really need to wear a face mask while we are huffing and puffing on our afternoon jog?

The answer is two-fold. On one hand, wearing a mask can greatly restrict your breathing, especially if the mask is tight around your mouth. Restricted breathing while you exercise could lead to several problems including shortness of breath or even lightheadedness. If you already have trouble breathing, exercising with a mask on might make it impossible to safely complete your workout.

On the other hand, according to the CDC, “CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.” Chances are that when you are running, walking or biking outside, you will not find it difficult to maintain other social distancing measures like staying 6 feet apart from other people. It is important to remember that face masks are not meant to be a substitute for social distancing. Even if you have a face mask on, it is still important to take special precautions for your safety and others’. 

So, the bottom line is, if you are practicing proper social distancing measures while you are working out, then it is probably safe to not wear a face mask. However, this is assuming that you are not working out with people who are not in your household, and you are not getting close to others as you are exercising. If you find yourself running or biking, and other people come into your path, simply great space in between you and them to maintain social distancing. 


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