Equinox Fitness – Training In A Mask
In response to COVID-19, we introduced The Equinox Standard of health, safety, and cleanliness. This plan builds upon Equinox's already recognized high standards – and takes them to the highest level.
We spoke with our best-in-class health and medical experts, trainers and instructors to supply you with most up-to-date information on masks and your workout. We're in this together. Let's put our best face forward.
3 MUST-HAVES IN A MASK
Your mask should have layers of fabric, which helps filter out more particles.
A SNUG FIT.
It should be fitted snugly over the nose and mouth but sit somewhat off your face; this will decrease the restrictive feeling and improve your ability to breathe.
WASH (OR DISCARD) AFTER EACH USE.
Dry on the hottest possible setting.
MYTH: Masks significantly decrease blood oxygen levels.
FACT: You're not breathing in less oxygen; the slight decrease in blood oxygen is due to an increase in oxygen delivery to tissues.
The increased 'air hunger' while wearing a mask is due to a slight accumulation of carbon dioxide in the blood. But carbon dioxide isn't bad—it's essential to the breathing process. As carbon dioxide increases, blood circulation improves and more oxygen is delivered from the blood to the tissues and organs.
DO YOUR BREATHWORK
PRACTICE DIAPHRAGMATIC BREATHING.
You can make mask-wearing more comfortable by doing breathwork. Place hands around your ribcage and expand your lungs, inhaling for 8 seconds. Hold for 5 seconds, then exhale out of your mouth for 8, as if you were fogging a mirror. Repeat this cycle 5-8 times.
BE A NOSE BREATHER.
Yes, even during exercise. Why: It increases oxygen delivery to tissues. Bonus: This type of breathing can reduce dose and duration of viral load of airborne pathogens.
SCHEDULE MASK TIME.
Wearing your mask on and off throughout the day, even when you don’t have to, can help increase your tolerance.
ACCLIMATE TO YOUR MASK
Adaptation takes time—regular breathwork can expedite the process. In the meantime:
START WITH SISS.
Prioritize SISS, or sub-maximal intensity steady-state exercise. It’s easy cardio, or traditional strength training.
Make hard bursts shorter and increase your rest periods.
SWITCH UP FORMATS.
If you gravitate towards HIIT, try lower threshold strength or sculpt workouts.
"Wearing a mask during low-intensity activity has actually helped me put more emphasis on my breathing patterns," says Logan Ferguson, Tier X manager at Plano in Texas, who wears a mask all day in the club.
HOW TO AVOID MASK-NE
The combination of moisture and friction may cause facial breakouts.
Wash with a mild cleanser, then apply lotion and SPF.
Periodically spritz skin with tea tree toner.
Wash with a salicylic acid cleanser then moisturize.