Fitness Centers Debate Working Out With Masks As High Intensity Fitness Classes Start Again Indoors


Last Tuesday, grouped high-intensity fitness classes resumed their activities within British Columbia, although some won’t be rushing back to re-open so soon.

Natasha Lowe, the proprietor of Cadence Cycle, has been having her sessions outside in the last few days.

While spin classes can now be held indoors, she says their activities won’t be shifting indoors with the mask mandate currently in force.

She noted that they don’t feel it’s safe to have their clients indoors to perform high-intensity activities with their masks on.

Another instructor, Jenny Chessa, also says they are not keen on having their client work out with masks on. She said that projecting her voice over the music with a mask on is just not ideal.

As part of the re-opening program in BC, masks are a must in public places, under step 2. When step 3 commences, masks will become recommended, but it is not clear whether this will be applicable to groups taking a fitness class.

Another area of concern is whether its safe to undertake fitness activities with a mask on. Dr. Scott Lear, a health science professor at Simon Fraser University says that based on the research they have done so far, there are no health concerns to worry about. But he noted that the muscles that help with breathing will work a little extra. For those without health conditions, there won’t be a difference.

Dr. Lear also said that some people will have a hard time taking in as much oxygen as they would without a mask on, but added that the difference is quite small, enough not to make a difference.

He also noted that the mask will cause your body to feel a little warmer as you work out.


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