When gyms and fitness studios are open, will you go back to exercising indoors? Along with this decision, comes a wave of questions and confusion (for us all). Is it safe? Do I feel safe? Do I need to social distance? Is the equipment well sanitized? Am I physically ready? Am I emotionally prepared?
If you are eager to get back to the community aspect of fitness and benefit from the physical presence of a fitness professional, then here is how we suggest you prepare:
Wearing a Mask Much like wearing a pair of glasses for the first time, you will get used to wearing a mask very quickly. Wearing them during exercise may reduce risk and is collectively respectful, but wearing a mask also affects how the exercise affects us. Scientifically, we still don’t know much about if and how face coverings change the impact of exercise, but because there is an obstruction in the flow of oxygen into the body and CO2 out of the body, you will notice your heartrate and level of difficulty change. As always, rely on how you feel, start back conservatively and share what is working and what is not with others.
Choosing a Mask Consider what you are placing over your face – what you will be breathing in. Your health and wellness depends upon it. A healthy mask is made from a breathable and sustainable material you can wear over your mouth and nose, and that can be washed and reused over and over, as needed. Avoid paper, surgical masks altogether during exercise, since they are designed for surgery, and not for the gym … they become wet when you breathe into them vigorously, making them inefficient and uncomfortable, plus they add to the current single-use disposable crisis we all share. Face masks can make us feel uncomfortable for many reasons – they can trigger us, make us feel claustrophobic, remind us that our freedom has been taken away and our fear of getting sick or making someone sick is heightened … there is so much confusion about wearing a mask during these wild and unsettling times, but as with everything, take pause, make a clear-headed, healthy decision and be kind to others. Here are a few healthier mask options.
Breathe Well Your breath is the most powerful and readily available tool that you possess when it comes to connecting with yourself on all levels. It is also at the same time one of the most misunderstood and confusing natural body functions. Breathing is the only self-regulating system of the body that we can also control. We can use our breath to calm ourselves, for increased energy, to support exercise, to reduce anxiety, to aid in recovery and healing. When we workout, we breathe with an open mouth to get more air. Masks will change the flow of air, challenging your breath, so be connected to this and modify your workouts accordingly. If anything is done often enough, it becomes the new norm. Practice Unmeditation, a positive and conscious form of breath control which is easily transferrable to your indoor workouts, enhancing performance.
Emotional Wellness Check-In In spite of the presence of face masks and new safety protocols, we must continue to actively pursue emotional wellness. The good news is that it is in all of us and readily available. As we all navigate the unknown, use our Emotional Wellness fit tips to develop resilience and feel great.
Self-Sanitize A healthier sanitizer should be your reusable water bottle’s new best friend, don’t leave home without them. Even with commerical hand sanitizing stations and cleaning protocols in place, you will want to keep the responsibility of germ-free hands in your own hands. We recommend a formula that is at least 60 percent alcohol and triclosan-free.
Get Motivated Dopamine is often called the “motivation molecule”. It is the main brain chemical messenger responsible for making us feel motivated and we can trigger its release simply by moving. If you are feeling low at the gym, increase your dopamine … here are some ideas on how to get your fix.
Hydrate Well Water is energy … an essential nutrient and all of our organs and tissues depend on it to function optimally. Don’t wait to start hydrating until you get to the gym, hydrating well is a day long activity. Set yourself up for success, if you have not yet incorporated the Waterfall into your morning, here’s how.
Smile even though we might not see it. Your energy introduces you before you do.
Is it safe? There are so many factors that you need to consider for yourself, be your own best expert.