Face masks went from being an element that we used to see doctors and nurses to be an element that we use wherever we go. There are even times when we use them within our own home, so much so that the industry saw the need to take the face masks to another level making designs that could match your outfit or some that are particularly for sports.
If you have jogged or run with a face mask, you might have noticed the discomfort that comes with wearing a face-covering since it covers your mouth and nose completely, it becomes more difficult to take air and therefore carry that air to the lungs. You might even feel more fatigued than usual and you could even notice that your performance might have dropped a considerable amount. On the other hand, our sweat and breathing inside the face mask make it a quite uncomfortable sensation. Also, there are other factors such as skin reactions that have occurred or even reducing the degree of protection of the face mask against virus particles. (This depending on the material of the mask).
Sounds uncomfortable so far right? The good news is that as a result of this new norm, studies have been carried out analyzing the effect of the use of the face mask on runners and joggers (including amateurs) and although it has been discussed a lot, it has been found that making constant use of this element within your workouts could lead the body to adapt to its use. This could promote strengthening your lungs, therefore, by doing this constantly, you might be able to notice a benefit. But…. according to those same studies, running with the traditional face mask is NOT the same as running with special masks for hypoxic training (a mask that simulates altitude training through valves).
Depending on where you are in the world, it might be mandatory or not to run with a face mask, however understanding that it is part of our self-care and that it can even generate benefits, I recommend that you make use of this element, and for this, I have these 8 tips for you, so that this way running or jogging with a face mask is more friendly:
1. Beware of what you use when you stretch
To warm-up and stretch, try NOT to lean on chairs, playgrounds, or fences, the less physical contact you have with items that many people usually touch, the better for your health.
2. Smooth transition
Do not feel frustrated if you are not performing the way you usually do (remember that this effort may bring future benefits and you are contributing to self-care), do not force yourself to do the same number of miles that you did before, or try to keep the same rhythm. Little by little you will be able to work to the point you were or surpass your goal. The most important thing is to listen to your body!
3. Choose the face mask for you
There is a variety in the sports market for both face masks and face and neck coverings that are made out of the materials and are designed that promote better breathing and comfort. However, many of these may not be the right fit to protect against COVID-19. My advice would be before buying any of these make sure you do enough research to make sure you know which one is the right fit for you.
4. Research the materials
Make sure the material of the mask is the right one for you and don’t generate allergies.
5. Consider the use of reusable face masks:
Choose reusable face masks that you can wash after each use, if it is not possible or you prefer to use single-use face masks, remember that these should NOT be used more than once, and even more so when you use to workout.
6. Check the fit of your face mask:
The fit should be perfect, it should not be too large or extremely tight, remember that you should feel some comfort within what is possible using the mask.
7. Nasal breathing
Learning to breathe through your nose will help your face mask not to acquire so much moisture, you must keep in mind that breathing in this way when you are not used to doing so may be difficult at first, so you should listen to your body.