Masks and Exercise

A TriBreather has asked me to share my thoughts on the use of masks when they exercise.  Happy to oblige!

My response would be there’s two primary factors that i would consider…

1. Oxygen intake

2. Metabolic waste removal

Obviously there may be a multitude of other factors to consider depending on your situation.

As always, may common sense prevail and the path of gentle progress be achieved!

First thing…

With regard to oxygen intake, the moment you wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth, your oxygen intake is going to be compromised.

Whether it’s a high quality mask or a piece of material, your body’s oxygen intake via the breathing process is going to be compromised.

If your intention is to engage in physical exercise or your work activities require you to walk for distances, first and foremost i would suggest you slow down the physical pace you would normally walk at.  You slowing down your body pace will help reduce the amount of fuel your body requires to maintain vigorous movement and as a direct result less waste is going to be created.

If you’re exercising, slow down!  Whatever you’re doing… slow your body down!

Slow down and focus more on your arm movements and getting long, slow deep breaths in to actually oxygenate your body as best you can.

Second thing…

Metabolic waste!

It’s estimated that your respiration accounts for up to 70% of your body’s metabolic waste removal.  This waste is primarily created as a by-product from the burning of fuels.

Just like an internal combustion engine!

  • The internal combustion engine requires fuel.
  • The internal combustion engine requires oxygen.
  • The internal combustion engine creates waste.

Sounds familiar doesn’t it?

  • Your body requires fuel.
  • Your body requires oxygen.
  • Your body creates waste.

If 70% of this metabolic waste is removed via the respiratory system (the air you breathe out), it’s not rocket science to figure out that this waste is going to coagulate or build up on the inside of your mask.

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What would i do?

If i felt is was in the best interest to wear a mask, i’d be changing my mask probably three, four, five times a day!

Knowing my oxygen intake is going to be compromised, i would slow down. i wouldn’t engage in high energy exertion except for in emergency case situations.

And i don’t consider going for a run an emergency!

Like, come on guys… a bit of common sense works wonders!

As for the metabolic waste, change your masks regularly. Don’t wear one mask for the whole day!

Change your masks three, four, five times a day. As often as possible.

And remember to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.

If you are compromised for oxygen, always remember the holding of water in the mouth trick. It forces you to breathe in through the nose and then you will slow down.

Practice your breath. Be well, stay strong! Eat well, love well 🙂




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