WHAT DOES RESEARCH SAY ABOUT WEARING A MASK WHILE RUNNING

The whole world has changed in the last one year and we are quite fortunate that technology and digital space have preceded this era, making it seem like they were preparing us for an imminent overhaul. We witnessed the world being suddenly restricted to the confines of the home and venturing out was at one’s own risk.

Today, social life comes with a set of dos and don’ts, and fitness is no exception. Using a hand sanitizer, wearing a mask and checking for temperature have become normal. However, there are certain activities that are better done without these rules, and wearing a mask tops the list.

While wearing a mask is mandatory, so is staying fit and healthy. The issue is how to get them done together. The internet is bombarded with questions from the fitness fraternity on the mask culture. This is what we found.

Recommendation

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends wearing a cloth mask when stepping out. The idea is to protect self and others from airborne respiratory droplets, to make wearing a mask comfortable and to allow the unrestricted movement of oxygen and carbon dioxide, as cloth is comparatively light and airy when compared to other kinds of masks available in the market. It also recommends NOT wearing a mask during high intensity exercises such as running.

Choose timing

Since the intention is to not wear a mask, it is also necessary to choose a time to run when there are very little or no people around. This narrows down to around 4.00 am. Nevertheless, it is advisable to carry a mask, just in case a bunch of people are thinking on the same lines.

Consider health conditions

Wearing a mask while running can become a nightmare for people with breathing problems. Even otherwise, it must be admitted that there is a well-marked difference between running with and without a mask. You might want to avoid a medical emergency in a desire to keep fit. In this situation, it is better to resort to light indoor exercise activities.

Try a home run

This doesn’t suggest you stop running and play baseball instead. It simply means, run at home — on a treadmill, on the terrace or around the house. You can get creative and chase the dog or have him chase you. This way, you exercise well, avoid the crowd and entertain yourself (and maybe the neighbours too).

Wear and remove, wear and remove

If your sneakers have to hit the road — do so, but wear your mask over your chin. When you are in a place where social-distance is not practiced or possible, pull your mask up over your nose and mouth while running through that stretch. Release your mask when you are out of the crowd.

Special face masks

The market has started catering to the masses — category-wise. There are special masks for the fitness community. Brands are launching breathable material that is not only airy but also avoids the accumulation of sweat, which is a generous product of gym life.

A fitness lifestyle is an enviable one. Once in, it is too good to give up. A few tweaks to accommodate fitness schedules and activities can go a long way in establishing and meeting fitness goals.