Does the very idea of going outside during the coronavirus pandemic fill you with anxiety? You’re not alone. You should always wear a mask, avoid touching your face, and carry hand sanitizer when venturing to public places like grocery stores, restaurants and, realistically, liquor stores (we know you’ve done it!). But what about when you venture outside for a quick run or walk? Should you take precautions for routine exercise?
First and foremost, careful is better. Even if you don’t plan to stop or interact with anyone during your outdoor exercise excursion, it’s still safest to carry a mask — just in case you need to use it. Never interact with someone you don’t know without a mask. Not until the pandemic clears up, anyway.
Avoid the gym. The equipment will not be safe to use and the patrons of the establishment will make up a wide swath or American society — which means some will be playing it safe during this pandemic while others will be under the impression that the whole thing is a government conspiracy meant to unseat Trump in November. Just don’t go. Take a jog instead.
Keep in mind that not everyone should exercise with a mask. Those who have respiratory issues or older persons should avoid anything that could restrict the flow of oxygen.
Grayson Wickham, Movement Vault specialist and physical therapist, said, “Due to the increase in breathing resistance, it’s normal to get out of breath quicker than you typically would in your workout when not wearing the face mask. You may not be able to perform at the same level that you would when not wearing the face mask.”
Be wary of your body when exercising using a mask. Are you starting to feel faint or lightheaded? Then it’s time to remove the mask and take a breather. Remember: this is about keeping yourself safe, not overdoing it when we all need each other the most.