ER physician shares tips on exercising with face coverings

Coronavirus

Several young people running on treadmill in gym wearing face mask.

AURORA, Colo. (KDVR) — Working out while wearing a face covering is not pleasant. Colorado is known for being a fit and active state, but staying that way during a pandemic is not easy.

“Exercise is key,” said Dr. Kalen Abbott, an ER physician at The Medical Center of Aurora. “It’s key for our mental health. It’s key for our physical health. Everybody still needs to be exercising to whatever degree they were doing it before COVID, if they can.”

Abbott says face coverings are important when our workouts bring us in close proximity to other people.

“To get a proper amount of filtration, it really should be double layered,” he said.

Double layering a face covering means people may have to exercise at lower intensities. To achieve desired results, people may need to engage in longer workouts.

“We just don’t want respiratory droplets infecting other people,” Abbott explained.

For running, Abbott recommends people wear face coverings if they are within 30 feet of other people. For cyclists, 60 feet is recommended.

Social distancing inside gyms is extremely important. Abbott doesn’t like the idea of sharing gym equipment during sessions.

Big name brands like Adidas and Under Armour are experimenting with exercise-specific face coverings. Abbott says the specialty masks include materials designed to prevent sweat and moisture from collecting on the face.

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