How to Exercise with a Mask

As you probably know, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone wear a mask in public settings, especially when social distancing can be difficult to maintain. Mask use is likely to reduce the spread of COVID-19 when used widely by people in public settings.


We know wearing a mask while being active might feel challenging at first and it can take some time to get used to. So, our team has compiled some of our favorite tips to make mask wearing comfortable!

Use a mask made of a lighter material

Cloth masks are fantastic because they’re reusable and there are so many fun colored fabric options. However, as much as we love our cloth masks, we’ve found that the lighter disposable masks are much easier to wear while working out. The thickness of a mask impacts airflow, with thicker masks (such as cloth masks made from quilting cotton) allowing less air, and therefore less oxygen to come through. The airflow is better when using a disposable mask. Plus, they tend to not move as much as you breathe, whereas with a cloth mask sometimes the fabric gets sucked in towards the mouth/nose when taking a deep breath.


If you find exercising in a mask difficult, give a different type of mask a try. Everyone is different, so experiment with what works best for you! Ideally, you should look for a mask that is comfortable to wear for longer stretches of time.

Bring a 2nd Mask to Class

It’s nice to have a backup option in case the mask you came into class wearing becomes too uncomfortable or is giving you other issues. Simply swap it out with your 2nd mask as needed.


Students wearing their masks in the RGF lobby after class.

Drink lots of water

It’s important to stay hydrated when working out, even more so when also wearing a mask. We’ve found that ice cold water is the most helpful to keep us feeling well and ready to keep moving. Make sure to drink a lot of water before class and to take as many water breaks as you can during class.

Listen to your body

When training with your mask, remember to take it slowly. It may take some time to acclimate to wearing a face mask while being active. Allow yourself to take breaks as needed.


Watch for any symptoms of lightheadedness, dizziness, numbness, or shortness of breath. If you notice any of these, immediately stop and take a break until you feel better.


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