Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Is It Time To Resume Your Moderate to Extreme Workouts?

Think of this as a Sports Medicine Question: Is it time to go back to working out?

The short answer is probably.

The longer one is a bit more complex.

Although I really could use a proper gym, complete with free weights, universal, and nautilus stations, I personally truly won't consider setting foot inside of a gym until I have that vaccine in my arm for COVID-19.

My own experiences as a client in a gym and as a trainer prove to me that "All Y'all are Nasty". 

Meaning that if you creatures won't wipe down a bench after you use it, you certainly won't take the time to wear a mask to workout and then wipe down that bench with a pandemic brewing.

No, seriously.  There was this Professor Emeritus at Temple University who worked out in the faculty gym at the same time as me who we called "Sweaty Betty" because her nasty ass left puddles of sweat and got actually violent if you called her on that.

But that is besides the point.

Now, in the concept of outdoor workouts, this is a lot safer to do the areas that COVID is in decline.


The Hospitals in South Florida are beginning to do elective surgeries, and that is what is more important than some idiot sitting in the Governor's Chair making Politically Influenced decisions that are not necessarily appropriate to you personally retaining your own life.

Bottom Line is "If The Emergency Room Of Your Hospital Is Not Available For You If You Injure Yourself Do Not Workout In A Sport That Can Cause Injury". 

This applies anywhere else in the world - you have to be aware of how to get help if your own first aid skills are not sufficient to get you safely home. 

While I historically maintained First Aid Certification to assist myself and others, I'm neither a doctor, nor an EMT. 

However, I am an Expert or Elite Inline Skater (Speed, Distance, and Marathon), and a Trainer.  I have skated 21,900 plus miles since 1992 and counting.

... and I have injured myself a number of times, thankfully no breaks.

However, I recognize that is a possibility. 

Secondly, Wear A Mask, No Excuses.

I was out on the trails and it showed an interesting pattern. 

Casual exercisers such as casual walkers and strollers, and short distance exercisers did not wear masks.

Serious exercisers such as Skaters (Yo!  Represent!), Distance Runners, and Distance Bikers were wearing masks and other face coverings.

The difference is that once you get past a certain point, mere Social Distancing is worthless, and you need to protect yourself. 

Third, As You Go Faster, You Are More Exposed To Airborne Contagions.

The reason is that you are pulling a lot of air into your lungs if you are doing any kind of aerobic sports training.  A lot more than normal if sitting at a bench or walking from point A to point B at a normal pace.

I can illustrate that with my own workouts.

Before the world shut down here in March, I was skating 14 miles (22 Km or so) in a 90 minute workout with rest and water stops.  My pace was a heart rate of 165bpm average.  I was doing a 5 minute mile, predictably.  This was without a mask.

The other day I skated with a mask.  Granted, I had sat out two months so my fitness level was down from March, but that does not explain away the results I saw.

I skated shorter distances and slower that day, with a mask and my heart rate illustrated starkly what my body tried to do with less oxygen at sea level.

I ended up skating in sprints.  I was purposely seeking my normal pace of 165 bpm.  However when I approached someone, I pulled the mask up to cover nose and mouth as you see up in the picture.

"Ain't he pretty?" as Bugs Bunny would say.

It would give me a couple hundred feet of being with limited air flow while struggling to maintain speed.

Maintaining speed is not possible, and heart rate climbed significantly.

While I can maintain a higher heart rate than most at my own fitness level, my heart rate went from 165 to 180-185 bpm almost immediately with mask covering my nose.  Since I was pulling in more air, the mask formed a seal around nose and mouth and filtered that air, but breathing took much more effort.  My speed dropped noticeably. 

The conclusion would be in my own opinion...
  • Workout Outdoors is best.
  • Wear your mask
  • Drink plenty of water - hydrate!  You really don't need those electrolytes, for a moderate workout.
  • Cover up when you are approaching someone.
  • Judge for yourself when it is safe for you to open your mask to get the air you need to succeed in your training.
Oh, and don't fall!  You don't want to have to go to an ER - they are way too busy for your own clumsy self!

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