For the time being, infectious disease specialists like Dr. Sandra Kesh are skipping indoor workouts around people who aren't wearing a mask -- and wearing one when exercising outside.
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These tips should help you identify the best face mask for exercise. This story has been recently updated.
Under Armour designed the UA Sportsmask with athletes in mind, but anyone who is an avid athlete will find the mask helpful if you're looking to upgrade from a standard cloth face mask. The mask is made with three different layers designed to provide airflow while also protecting you. One layer of the mask has an antimicrobial treatment called "PROTX2."
When I tried the Under Armour mask during a cardio workout, I first realized it felt comfortable on my face; it didn't cling to my mouth, which is especially uncomfortable when you're breathing harder. Instead of the mask feeling hot, I got a refreshing sensation.
The mask didn't completely wick away moisture, but since the fabric wasn't so tight on my mouth, it wasn't a problem. Overall, I was impressed with this mask and would be comfortable wearing it in indoor or outdoor fitness situations.
The Well Movement mask is 50% cotton, which means it may not stay dry during intense sweat sessions, but it is also made of sweat-friendly polyester and spandex. The ear loops are adjustable, which is a great fit and comfort. There is also a handy lanyard on the mask so you may use it around your neck.
The most popular feature on the mask is the moldable nose pad so you can make sure it fits comfortably and snugly on your face. I chose this mask for walking and not intense workouts (I'd prefer the UnderArmour mask for those who like it) because the fabric is thin but still comfortable.
Carbon38's Mask Kit comes with two masks, plus a laundry bag for washing. The masks are made with a blend of polyester and polyester, allowing you to quickly wash. The ear loops are adjustable for a snug fit, and the masks come in two sizes.
Carbon38 claims that masks are made with a multi-layer filtration system to protect your skin. Additionally, the fabric has antibacterial properties. I liked how thick the fabric is on these masks, as the nose piece is also shaped to help it stay in place, which is helpful for movement. The adjustable ear loops give it a more snug and custom fit.
These masks are ideal for a brisk walk or other low-intensity workout because they are fit close to your face. They may be difficult to wear during a more intense workout.
The Everyday Mask from Proper Cloth is made from linen and has an antimicrobial treatment, plus a filter for extra barrier protection. The mask fits comfortably with adjustable ear loops and the nose bridge isn't too stiff, but helps keep it anchored on your face.
I like the linen material because it's flexible and breathable, but I'd prefer it for more leisure activities such as walking, pilates or yoga. It would get damp if you're doing a lot of sweating, as linen isn't the most performance-friendly fabric.
Face masks that are stretchy and dry quickly, like your favorite leggings, are used by yoga wearers. There are no different colors and patterns, but it's certainly worth it for a more durable mask option.
When I tried the mask, it felt like I anticipated. The mask fits tightly across your face, but the material is stretchy (like yoga pants) and breathable. Even though the ear loops aren't adjustable, the mask remains snug.
Because the mask isn't super adjustable, I would wear it for lower-intense workouts that won't leave you breathing too hard. For more intense exercises, such as high-impact cardio, you want to make certain you have enough room to breathe, thus the UnderArmour mask would be more suitable.
Koral's face masks are made using the same antimicrobial performance technology as its activewear, which is stretchy and fast-drying. When I put it to the test, I immediately found the soft, stretchy fabric comfortable against my face. The only thing I didn't like about this mask was that the ear loops aren't adjustable. Since the mask is machine washfriendly, you can toss it in the wash.
Athleta has discontinued this mask for women (you can still purchase it for kids) and replaced it with the Activate mask. Like the Made to Move mask, the mask has breathable fabric and wires to get the perfect fit for your face, but does not come with a pocket to hold a filter.
The Athleta Made to Move Mask was designed specifically for exercise, which I could tell right away when I tried on it. It is one of the most comfortable and breathable masks I've ever used.
The mask's interior has a mesh lining, which helps absorb moisture while the mask fits snugly, but you can still breathe. There is also an inner pocket inside the mask if you wanted to add a filter layer (although that isn't included). The ear loops are made of a soft elastic that won't pull your hair and are adjustable.
The Athleta Mask is great for walking, or even outdoor activities, like jogging or biking. It's removable and elastic, so you can feel confident that it will not fall off your face during movement.
What to look for in face masks for exercise
Masks that are made with a breathable fabric similar to those used in activewear (like spandex or polyester) are your best choice. But, the mask should be breathable and comfortable while you move.
While you're moving, nothing worse than having a face mask sag or fall off. First, it will slow your workout if you stop to fix it and you'll likely have to touch your face, which you should avoid doing to keep the environment safe.
Look for a face mask that is adjustable or comes in different sizes so you can select the ideal fit for you. Stretchy ear loops or elastic tends to fit snugly and won't slide around as much as the masks that tie around your head.
Although sweat and moisture may be a breeding ground for bacteria, masks that have a filter or antimicrobial coating are ideal for physical activity. (Many of the masks on this list do have these features.) While these may not actually kill or destroy a virus particle, it does not hurt to have these extra barriers in place.
A mask on this list can offer a 100% guarantee that it will protect you against the virus no matter how many fancy features they have. However, wearing a mask is simple enough to provide an additional barrier to prevent the spread and protect your and your family.
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The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult with a physician or other qualified health provider about any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.