Expert advice Heal
Why U Shouldn’t Wear A Mask While Exercising?

Dr Suneetha Narreddy

Infectious Disease Specialist, MD; ABIM

3 min read


A frequent doubt among many people is whether they should wear a mask while exercising. Here’s the truth. It’s not advised to wear a mask at all while U exercise! When U exercise, U sweat and when U sweat, the mask becomes wet. A wet mask attracts microorganisms which stick to UR mask. A wet mask makes it more difficult for U to breathe. When UR exercising, UR lungs work harder, and the airflow to UR lungs is restricted with a mask. This will make U feel out of breath and tired. The best thing U can do is, not wear a mask while U exercise. Here are a few reasons why you shouldn’t wear a mask while U exercise and distance URself from other people instead.

Why Wearing A Mask While U Exercise Could Be Harmful?

During the pandemic, gyms were identified as a problem area and were shut across the globe. This happened because; the proximity of the equipment combined with multiple touchpoints is unsafe and exposes U to various vulnerabilities.

When we exercise, we breathe more heavily, and when U have a mask on, it makes it even harder for U to breathe and exercise comfortably. This causes more aerosolizing of microorganisms and increases the risk of releasing viruses into the air. Wearing a mask while exercising can impede UR overall performance. Even the most breathable masks can decrease UR airflow, making it slightly harder for U to breathe.

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It is important to distinguish this effect from the myth that masks trap carbon dioxide (CO2) and make U sick. Don’t let this decrease UR performance and deter U from wearing a mask. If U R concerned about UR performance and still need to exercise outside of UR home, try to find a location that has relatively few people or avoid exercising during peak hours.

Since the virus is airborne, it’s best to avoid visiting a gym or any public places. Try UR best to exercise in the open air without a mask – at a safe distance from others. U can also try a variation of exercises outdoors to get a good workout session. While U R exercising outdoors, maintain six feet social distance from people.


Wearing a mask while exercising can impede UR overall performance. Even the most breathable masks can decrease UR airflow, making it slightly harder for U to breathe. It is important to distinguish this effect from the myth that masks trap carbon dioxide (CO2) and make U sick. Don’t let this decrease UR performance and deter U from wearing a mask. If U R concerned about UR performance and still need to exercise outside of UR home, try to find a location that has relatively few people or avoid exercising during peak hours.


The Alternatives

  • If U wish to go to the gym, it would be best to go to a less crowded gym.
  • Don’t worry too much about the air-conditioning; keep the doors and windows open. If U have a lot of ventilation, the number of viral particles will reduce in the air.
  • Workout at home instead, there are many ways U can use things in and around UR house to work out like; water bottles, rope, heavy books, backpack and more.
  • Cloth masks and surgical masks are comfortable and allow some air to pass in when they are compared to other fabrics or masks.

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Things to Avoid

  • Don’t wear an N95 mask with a filter; it is relatively easy for particles to get inside the mask. There are many N95 masks, which were considered to be faulty during the mask shortage. Be mindful of which mask you chose to wear!
  • Avoid touching equipment you don’t work out with. It is better to avoid touching and exposing URself to contaminated surfaces.
  • Try and avoid being close to other people while U R working out, as it reduces the chances of U being exposed to COVID or any other infections.
  • Ensure UR masks are clean, not wet, dispose one-time-use masks properly, and avoid reusing ‘one-time-masks’ for an extended period.
  • Do not forget to remove the mask if it is wet or dirty!

The number of precautions U take during the pandemic will only help U stay away and suppress this virus. Working out during this pandemic has helped many boost their immunity, lower their stress levels, follow and stick to their daily routine.

While working out make sure U don’t restrict UR breathing and expose URself to other vulnerabilities. Carry a sanitizer, wash UR hands and maintain social distancing at all times.

Stay safe, healthy and fit!