ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Starting on Monday, July 13, the state’s new health order requires you to wear a mask while exercising. “Just because we’re working out, doesn’t mean the virus isn’t coming out in our aerosol droplets,” said Dr. Denise A. Gonzales, a pulmonary physician for Presbyterian.
On Thursday, the governor said the state had fallen behind in the fight against COVID-19. “If you’re at the gym, you need to have a mask on. If you are taking a walk and window shopping, you have to have a mask on,” said Gov. Lujan Grisham in a press conference.
Gyms like Chuze Fitness were already requiring a mask when hitting the weights or treadmill. Chuze Fitness sent an email to clients saying face coverings are required in the facility at all times.
Some are not fans of wearing a mask while working out. Domonique Smith says she hasn’t been back to her gym since they made masks mandatory.
“It’s probably more important to focus on my breathing and focus on trying to get my heart rate down than worry about throwing a mask off and on, touching my face after touching the weights,” said Smith. “I would just so other people would feel comfortable but if I had the choice, no.”
Dr. Gonzales says while masks will restrict or limit the ability to move air in and out, it’s a good idea to wear one in an enclosed space like an indoor gym.
“Working out in the indoors where there’s a higher risk of exposure to droplets, especially when people are working out, they’re generating many more droplets,” said Dr. Gonzales. “For one’s own protection, it’s a good idea to wear a mask in any enclosed environment, including a gym.”
She says, in fact, some athletes even use special, tighter masks to build up their cardio stamina, and are able to work out just fine.