Wearing a mask has just become the new normal. You wear it anywhere you go and at anytime. Wearing a mask is the most simple thing to do in order to reduce the risk of infecting someone else or being infected with any kind of diseases, Co-Vid 19 at the moment.
There are always BUTs. It might be the best risk prevention but it covers our nose and mouth in other words masks will affect our breathing in general. we need to breathe more and harder than the usual, so it will affect our performances and feelings for sure. Discomfort and breathing restrictions, higher heart rate than usual are not valid excuses to not wear a mask or stop working out. You will just have to deal with new sport feelings.
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We will provide tips in order to still enjoy exercising while wearing a mask as, according to specialists, this situation won't end anytime soon.
By reading recent studies and by doing Cardio and workout in-house and in partnership with the Uglow team tests - after our workout together - (so not very scientific tests but we could have nice outputs) at Ahera, we have noticed your heart rate will be around 10% higher while wearing a mask than the usual. This is the reason why you should stop looking at the speed while doing your cardio session but start working with your heart rate monitor. Nowadays, most of the smartwatches have integrated heart rate monitor: Apple Watch, FitBit, Coros, ... this will be a new way of training, you will be surprised how high you heart rate can actually go!
Because you wear a mask your respiratory tracts are covered, you will create a lack of oxygen for your muscles and brain, also called Hypoxemia. This will cause inconfort and might lead to lightheadedness if you keep doing your high intensity intervals or heavy weight lifting. These feelings will quickly stop as soon as you stop exercising, do some stretching, shower and be at home mask-free.
Hopefully, not every mask cause the same inconfort while doing exercising. This is the reason why it is important to choose it wisely, pick the correct size and change or clean it very often. The mask offer is very wide at the moment and many brands have worked very hard in order to launch masks adapted to sports activity in term of comfort, reusability, ventilation, material... We recommend you to try different types of masks in order to know which one fits you the best but after testing different ones we can give you some advice. They all have pros and cons. Here is our - non scientific - feedback.
The surgical masks are made out of paper so they offer the best breathing while they are still dry but once you start sweating they will quickly become all wet and breathing won't be any possible, as they are disposable they are not eco friendly - Pleaser litter them properly. One last negative point to the surgical masks are they are mainly made for medical purposes - we could have guessed it easily - so the colorways are limited and remind you of doctors and hospitals. But they are cheap, easy to find; take no space in your pockets and as they are made out of paper they are very ergonomic.
The ones made out of multiple layers of fabric with changeable filters are heavier than the surgical and might cause overheating of your face, but you will be able to change the filters easily. Moreover, if you pick one made out of synthetic fabrics, they will dry very quickly as soon as you stop sweating, wash the mask daily and they do not obstruct much your breathing. At Ahera, these are our favorite pick whenever we have to go out or workout in public areas.
The last type of masks we have tested are the neck gaiters, called Buff by most of the trail runners. The offer is so large, you will be able to find a lot of different colors, graphics to match it with your daily outfit, every one has some already at home, they are very comfortable and you can wash them after every sigle workouts. Unfortunately, they are the less effective in term of infection control. Indeed, germs go through the fabric easily but they do prevent the spread of droplets by covering your nose and mouth.
To summarize, we recommand to follow the five points:
- Wear a mask adjusted to your size,
- Workout according to your heart rate,
- Stop if you start to feel lightheadedness,
- Change your mask every 30' of exercising,
- Avoid touching your masks as you might have germs on your hands,
- Prefer home workouts in order to minimize social interactions.
As you can see on the multiple pictures of this article, all of our athletes have already changed their habits and started working out and living with a mask on. You do not wear a mask just to protect yourself but also to control the spread of viruses and being a citizen conscious about the well-being of people who surround you.
It might be unpleasant to exercise with a mask on but it is always more conformable than being infected by Co-Vid19.
Osia, our band will be launched in September, it will allow you to track in real time your workouts on your smartphone using our free application.