How to Safely and Effectively Work Out in a Face Mask, Straight From Doctors and Trainers

You may need to adjust your expectations for your workout, but you can do this.

7/14/2020 3:04:00 AM

You may need to adjust your expectations for your workout, but you can do this.

With the weather getting warmer and gyms reopening in many parts of the country, you may understandably be anxious to get back to your workout routine. Of

, an NASM-certified personal trainer based in Los Angeles. Don't be discouraged if you jump in and find that you're not training at the same level as you were before. Abrams noted that, in addition to wearing a mask and going a while without access to gym equipment,"your body, mind, and heart are going through a lot more stressors."

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Kelly Bryant, an NASM-certified personal trainer and founder ofKelly Bryant Wellness, recommends erring on the side of caution and trading really intense workouts for light- to moderate-intensity forms of exercise. She also suggests using mechanisms other than heart rate to measure intensity."Heart rate metrics will be inaccurate because something is covering our mouths, making it more difficult to breathe," she explained. Instead, Bryant's suggests using the"talk test." While doing moderate-intensity exercise, you should be able to speak but struggle to get out full sentences. During lighter workouts, your ability to speak shouldn't be hindered at all.

"Prioritize safety rather than the perfect workout regimen, especially as we're just starting to return to public gyms," Bryant said. If you can't wait to take your mask off once your workout is complete, make sure you're outdoors before you do so.

5. Take Frequent Breaks"I can't stress this enough," said Abrams, emphasizing that now is not the time to focus on personal records or reach for heavier weights."Check in with what your body needs," she advised."Use this as an opportunity to listen and get to know yourself better."

And if you're frustrated by the limitations of training with a mask, Abrams recommends reminding yourself of the bigger picture. You're helping yourself and others by doing your part to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Plus, she says there's a silver lining to these adjusted workouts:"It's like training at altitude. [It's] tough, but you can do it."

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