There are many respiratory benefits to fitness training while wearing a face mask like strengthening your heart and lungs. It may seem odd or uncomfortable to have to wear a mask everywhere, especially while working out at the gym. My job is to guide others through workouts where I spend a lot of time at the gym wearing a mask. So, my perspective on masks changed when I was forced to adapt and overcome in order to provide the best service with my job at the gym and workouts.

Over time I started to notice a significant change in my breathing patterns and lung capacity. The first few weeks were rough because I could hardly catch by breath and often would gasp for air. I felt defeated at times by the mask because I was not able to perform at what I thought was my best. I became curious about how to practice breathing techniques to help with the training mask and found a lot of research about different benefits.

Find a breathable mask that you can feel comfortable working out in to get started. As you start to workout and your heart rate begins to rise, your respiratory system will build tension due to the restricted amount of oxygen within the mask. Although this can feel overwhelming at first, practicing small short breaths provides the body with the oxygen it needs and improves lung and heart strength. 

Now that I have spent several months training with a mask on, I notice an increase in my endurance and cardiorespiratory strength. I am able to control my breathing patterns more efficiently when I am lifting, walking, or hiking. With improved strength in my lungs and heart I can perform cardiorespiratory training and high intensity workout for longer periods of time or with more repetitions. 

Clean your washable mask with your load of laundry to wipe away the workout sweat. Having a couple of masks that you can switch throughout will help keep out built up bacteria and germs. Take care of your mask and practice good hygiene to keep your face, skin, mouth, and oxygen clean and healthy. Wearing a training mask will challenge your body in a new way that will improve your overall respiratory functions. 


Thank you for reading,

Enjoy those tough workouts safely - with a mask :)

Elizabeth Heald

Health and Fitness Coach

The Outdoor Athlete Club


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