In Oregan, Governor Kate Brown set restrictions requiring all gym-goers to wear a mask while working out.
“Honestly I’m surprised people didn’t wear a mask all the time at the beginning of this,” said Oakway Fitness member Ellen Toman. “For people to wear a mask into the gym and take it off right after, I don’t see the point in that. I don’t like to wear a mask but I prefer to wear a mask and be able to work out.”
While wearing a mask while working out is not ideal, it turns out there are some hidden benefits to it. One of these being an increased heart rate by 8 to 10 beats per minute. Dr. Rand McClain, who is the Chief Medical Officer for LCR Health, has treated professional athletes in Los Angeles since 2007. He told KEZI 9 News that increased heart rate leads to more calories burned.
“It increases your effort, therefore your caloric burn, which can be translated directly into fat loss,” said McClain. “By making it harder on yourself, your body says, ‘Wow I better make more oxygen-carrying capacity in the form of red blood cells.’”
Though, it’s not all benefits. There are some dangers, McClain says. When working out for long periods of time, masks can lead to dehydration, dizziness, light-headedness, and sometimes even cardiac effects. One way to stay safe is to limit your workouts to an hour or less.
Some local gyms are finding ways to work around these new restrictions. The F45 Training Facility meets at the Cal Young Middle school on Saturdays. Exercising outdoors, there is plenty of space to work out and social distance. In this space, masks are optional.
The outdoor workouts are a good compromise for those still nervous about returning to a gym setting. Jake Carlile, the studio manager, enjoys it.
“I didn’t get to see the smiles, the happiness, the cheering and that energy that F45 usually brings. That boot camp was the first time I really saw it,” said Carlile. “People were so happy. They were screaming, yelling, smiling and posting themselves on social media. They were begging us to do more because they felt like normal life was happening and they missed it.”
Even though it takes the F45 trainers two hours to get the equipment to the field, it’s worth for their happy members.