Some people still have not gotten the mask message, apparently. But Big Bang Theory star Kaley Cuoco isn’t one of them. And after getting some criticism on Instagram for wearing a mask while working out, she gave a clear response about the value of wearing masks—even while exercising.
“Jump it out,” Cuoco wrote in the caption of a video of her doing jump rope exercises in a gym. “My newest obsession during COVID/quarantine! All you need is 20 mins, a jump rope, and good music!”
She also happened to be wearing a face mask while working out in the video, which inspired a slew of commenters. While many said they were happy to see her demonstrating proper public safety procedures, others were confused. “Why mask? No one near?” one person asked. “You don’t need a mask when you work out,” another said. Some commenters felt the mask was unnecessary while others stated (incorrectly) that it could even be dangerous to wear a mask while exercising.
But Cuoco stepped in to set the record straight. “For everyone and their mask comments. I wear a mask when I’m in an enclosed space around others, which I was,” she wrote. “I also wear a mask when I’m outside around others. I’m protecting myself and everyone around me. That’s why I choose to wear a mask,” she continued. “Thanks for playing.”
In fact, Cuoco was doing exactly what public health experts recommend. Along with social distancing and frequent hand washing, wearing a mask is one of a few tools we have to prevent the spread of COVID-19. That’s because the coronavirus is mainly spread through respiratory droplets that people who have the infection expel when they talk, yell, cough, or sneeze, SELF explained previously. The mask prevents those droplets from reaching other people and, in some cases, can also help prevent the wearer from breathing in those droplets.
It’s especially important to wear a mask in public places—indoors and outdoors—when you can’t maintain proper social distancing, according to recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In a public setting like a gym where people are moving around and breathing heavily, experts say that wearing a mask while exercising is a smart thing to do. Also, wearing a mask is not harmful to your health, SELF explained previously. A mask will not cut off your oxygen or cause you to breathe in dangerous amounts of carbon dioxide, despite internet claims to the contrary.
That said, wearing a mask while working out may not be the easiest or most comfortable thing to do. So, if you’re working out anywhere other than your own home, it’s probably worth finding a type of mask that’s both effective at preventing the spread of COVID-19 and actually comfortable for you to exercise in. Here are a few suggestions for running masks from runners and SELF staffers to get you started, including this one from Under Armour, which might just be the best workout mask out there.
You might also need to adjust your workout when you’re wearing a mask because it will likely feel a bit different than what you’re used to, SELF explained previously. For instance, it will be especially important to pay attention to your body and your heart rate, and you might need to tweak your goals if wearing a mask makes things more challenging for you.
No one ever said that wearing a mask would be fun, but it is worth the effort. And with a few adjustments—and the understanding that it’s just going to feel a little weird for a while—you can do your part to keep everyone safe.
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