The COVID-19 outbreaks have made a mask-wearing a must in many locations. It has even moved workout sessions to Zoom or other online methods. But, now that the weather is getting warmer, many are wanting to resume their jogging routines outside. Of course, the question arises, “Should I wear a face mask while jogging outside?” Is it safe to wear it or do you even need it while running or walking outside?
According to the CDC, even if you are still under a stay-at-home order, staying at home doesn’t mean you cannot get outside of your home to enjoy some exercise or sunshine as long as you take some precautions. The main goal is to stay far enough away from other runners or those who may come close while you are out and about. But, what about that face mask? Is it necessary to put it on before heading off for a run?
The CDC guidelines calls for keeping a 6-foot distance from others. When this is not possible is when the mask is needed. It is recommended that one is worn if you cannot maintain this social distancing. So, be sure to carry one with you even if you choose not to wear it while alone on a jogging trail. Just make sure it is easily accessible should you need to put it on quickly. It reassures others should you come upon a crowded area or encounter other joggers on the path.
If your city’s ordinances require a mask be worn at all times, here are some helpful tips to wearing it safely even while exercising:
Be sure to choose one that is easy to breathe through while still blocking out the potential spread of the virus. If you are using the mask during exercise, being able to breathe through it is of utmost importance. While masks made out of synthetic material may be better at filtering out contaminants, they are also going to be harder on your skin. Your skin will always fare better with fabric such as cotton. Though, while it is better than no shielded guard at all, cotton is not the top option for filtering out virus particles.
While being able to breathe and maintain healthy oxygen levels is the most important factor to consider when exercising with a mask on, there are other things to think about. Other concerns involve what the mask will do to your skin after sweating and trapping the moisture up against your skin. Prep your skin before putting the mask on by using a gentle cleanser or petroleum jelly. Only wear the mask one time, or wash it between workouts.
On the upside, a face mask will protect your face from damaging sun rays, so you won’t need extra SPF. But, don’t be surprised to discover your tan lines leaves your face looking as though it is wearing a permanent mask. Some find many other benefits to mask-wearing. Though, most hope that this is a temporary precautionary measure that won’t last forever.