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Tips for working out while wearing a mask

One fitness expert says there are some ways to make your workout a little easier

MACON, Ga. — Gyms across the state have opened back up since June, but some have safety measures in place that could make your workout more difficult.

The Wellness Center at Navicent Health is just one gym that requires you to wear a mask during your workout. One fitness expert says there are some ways to make your workout a little easier.

"Some stuff we're doing at the Wellness Center is we're taking some of the higher intensity classes outside," said Catalina Torres Lopez, lead physiologist at Navicent Health.

She says masks are required inside the gym and members are slowly getting used to it.

"Start off slower, and gradually allow yourself to adapt to this slight restriction in airflow that we're getting from the air mask, but you will adapt, so you'll just have to start gradual," explained Torres Lopez.

She says before members can use the equipment, they're required to fill out a waiver and get their temperatures checked. All equipment must be cleaned after it's used, and members are given other options for classes.

"We're taking some of our cycling classes outside as well, doing some pop-up cycling classes outside without the masks. We're doing the pool with the swim laps -- now, they're reserved every other lane, has restrictions on going in and out," Torres Lopez said.

For those who stick to cardio, Torres Lopez says there are other ways to get the same benefits.

"You don't have to run to get the benefits of running. You can walk, you can add a little bit of weight to your walk. Let's say you put a backpack and you put some weights in it, it's what the military does -- it's called 'rucking' -- now, you're getting resistance training and cardio all in one," Torres Lopez.

Torres Lopez says if you do decide to wear a paper mask during your workout, you should dispose of it afterwards. She also says the best mask option is a cloth covering that can be washed and reused.