We’re now over six months into the Covid-19 pandemic and the reality is, we’re going to have to continue to deal with it for many more months to come. Therefore, the best thing we can do is keep adapting and changing accordingly, especially when it comes to our health and wellbeing.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), wearing a mask while exercising can negatively impact your breathing. Therefore, as of right now, it’s ideal to work out virtually from home or outside when others aren’t around, so you don’t have to wear a mask.
However, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), if you plan to work out in public outdoor spaces where it’s difficult to maintain six feet distancing from others or in indoor gym facilities that have been approved for safe reopeninings, wearing a mask will be extremely important towards helping you safely continue with your fitness regimen, while also protecting yourself and others from Covid-19.
And while masks can undoubtedly be uncomfortable to wear, especially while exercising, below are some tips for choosing the most comfortable, breathable and effective masks out there.
1. Choose a trusted brand: Brands like Under Armour, Reebok and Athleta have been developing masks specifically for use during exercise, such as running or cross-training. Designers from these companies are creating really interesting features for the present and future, such as fun and fashionable designs, colors and prints, integration with fitness apps, the ability to see facial expressions through the mask and more. You can trust that these companies are investing into this product category in order to be socially and medically responsible during these challenging times.
2. Pay attention to fabrics: Choosing fabrics is also extremely important because you want them to be thick enough to prevent against Covid-19 transmission through heavy breathing, water droplets, saliva, sweat, etc, while also being breathable during exercise. High quality cotton fabrics seem to work well, along with fabrics that are water-resistant and have moisure-wicking capabilities to protect and keep your face as dry as possible when you sweat.
3. Find a comfortable fit: The fit of your mask could also make or break your workout experience. Therefore, find masks that are shaped to fit and contour well on your face, depending on if it’s long or wide or somewhere in between and also cover your nose and mouth properly. In addition, you’ll want to ensure they’re not too tight or binding, but also secure enough to stay in place and not fall off during your workout.
4. Pay attention to washing instructions: Just like workout tops, bottoms or socks, your masks are going to get sweaty and dirty and must be washed properly after each use as well. You’ll also want to especially wash and wear a fresh mask each time you work out to protect against Covid-19 germs and bacteria. Check the washing instructions based on the fabric and colors and determine the best detergent, temperature and drying options to ensure the masks maintain their size, cleanliness and condition.
While you may have a few more considerations to make before exercising these days, it’s worth it to maintain your health and also stay safe against Covid-19. So go ahead and put on your mask and go crush your workout!