Since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, we’ve all been trying to find our way back to some sense of normalcy.
With the gradual loosening of restrictions in Ontario, we now have more opportunities to return to the activities we enjoy and have greatly missed. This includes engaging in modified fitness kickboxing and Muay Thai workouts.
However, you might have some questions or concerns about the current situation, including the issue of wearing face masks. Below are some key points to consider.
1. Safety First: Consult Your Physician
Health and medical experts have indicated that it’s safe to wear a face mask while exercising.
However, as always, it’s best to consult with your physician before engaging in a new physical activity (or, in this case, a physical activity under different circumstances), especially if you have any underlying conditions or other health concerns. Remember, your health and safety are important, so please err on the side of caution.
2. Consider Using a Face Mask Designed for Exercising
A medical-grade face mask such as the N95 isn’t the best choice of mask for exercising. It’s better to use a mask that is lightweight or made with breathable fabric.
Regardless of what kind of mask you choose, be sure to find one with a good fit (covering your nose, mouth, and chin) and always use a clean mask when beginning your workout.
3. Pace Yourself As You Adjust to Using a Face Mask
If exercising while wearing a face mask is new to you, be sure to go into the experience with reasonable expectations. You won’t likely be able to exercise as normal right away.
How our bodies adapt to wearing a mask while working out will vary.
Be sure to take care if you feel overwhelmed, have difficulty breathing, or feel you’re overheating. Don’t hesitate to take a break if needed. Starting slow and gradually building up intensity will help you feel more comfortable as you adjust.
4. Be Considerate When Training with a Partner
Whether you and a partner are doing pad drills or footwork drills, please keep in mind that people may respond differently to wearing a face mask in a new context such as when exercising.
Please be considerate by listening to your partner if they have any questions or concerns, and it would also help to occasionally communicate with them to ensure that everything is okay during your workout.
5. Remember to Follow Other Health Recommendations
Remember that wearing a face mask is just one of several important measures we can take to prevent virus spread.
When and where possible, please also wash your hands with soap and water (or a 70% to 90% alcohol-based hand sanitizer) and practice physical/social distancing (6 feet). Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands.
It’s also a good idea to clean and disinfect any equipment or surfaces used during your workout once you’re finished.
Remaining aware of the issues and consistently following the recommended guidelines allows us to return to the activities we love, including fun and engaging workouts, by ensuring we stay safe and maintain peace of mind.