Health experts advise to wear your mask at the gym, but be careful

Local News

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Fitness centers were able to re-open with Phase 4 of the ‘Restore Illinois’ plan, but health experts say there is one new item that should be stored in every gym bag–a mask.

While the IDPH does not require gyms to enforce face coverings, masks should be worn in public when physical distancing cannot be maintained. One respiratory therapist with OSF HealthCare warns even the strongest athletes of the breathing challenges masks can present.

“When your muscles burn they create lactic acid and the lactic acid turns into CO2. So that CO2 is going to increase more if you’re doing a higher level of intensity of exercise,” explained Johnna Steller.

Steller added that no matter your athletic ability, it is best to start the workout at a lower level and gradually increase exertion–while keeping an eye on your heart rate as well.

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