Indoor gyms and fitness rooms are open, but with renewed concerns about the Delta variant, the issue of wearing face masks while exercising is making people sweat again and again. Gym goers need to try to find face covering that doesn’t make breathing too hard or make you sweaty.
“To protect others, in the event you wear them, the use of masks in public should be followed based on public health needs, whether or not you exercise,” said Suzanne Lukovics, director of physical therapy at Georgetown Living in Austin, Texas Home Health. While mask requirements vary from state to state, the risks of transmission during exercise are not yet known, she says – so Lukovics, like much of the public, relies on the advice of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other health organizations.
“There is some talk about droplets floating in the air for a period of time, but we need to remember that exposure to Covid-19 also appears to be strongly linked to ‘viral load’,” she says. “So it would be less of a problem to be exposed to Covid-19 air droplets if, for example, you jogged past a place that had droplets, instead of being hard for 45 minutes next to a person who may be carrying Covid-19 train. “Talk loudly, cough or breathe heavily next to you during training.”
For the record, Lukovics says she would wear a mask when jogging 3 miles outdoors with a running partner. And masks can actually affect breathing, says the physical therapist. “With all exercises, your body needs more oxygen to support your muscles.”
But how that affects a person’s breathing rate is relative. “An older person who has never done sport will be overwhelmed with very little activity even without a mask,” she says. “Anyone who wears a mask during exercise, regardless of the intensity, is likely to feel more breathless than without a face covering – even if it’s a lightweight, disposable mask.”
However, it is worth it, emphasizes Lukovics. “Our amazing bodies will adjust over time and we will become less breathless every time we encounter a mask while exercising,” she says. “If we have a choice of preventing it from spreading and ‘enduring’ a little harder training on our lungs, we should do so for the long-term good.”
Furthermore, according to Lukovics, wearing a mask, regardless of its protective effect, “can give others a visual signal that ‘you are important to me and ready to withstand some ailments in this unprecedented time’. And when we can finally train safely without a mask again, our workouts will appear easier for a change! ”
When looking for the most breathable mask, Lukovics says, “Cotton is preferable, mostly to absorb moisture / sweat.” She says that multiple layers may offer more protection, but it also affects breathability.
To address these challenges, several fitness brands have created face masks specifically for every workout and fitness game you play, and we’ve rounded up some of our favorites. If you regularly sweat in your mask, don’t forget that if you regularly sweat in your mask, it’s important to wash it properly after each use.
Non-medical everyday masks, pack of 5
With more than 6,000 reviews and a 4.5-star rating, these editor-approved masks are a certified favorite on Athleta. Reviewers love the quality of these masks, as well as the pliable nosepiece and adjustable ear loops.
Adidas face covers M / L, 3-pack
Comfortable, washable and reusable for everyday use, these are available in packs of three, small or medium / large.
Double strap face mask, 3-pack
With Lululemon’s renowned soft materials, you know this mask will be your favorite whether you’re running, lifting, or doing other workouts.
Face covers M / L, 3-pack
These are two-ply, soft and breathable, from one of our most popular active brands.
Onzie Mindful Masks, assorted 2-pack
This yoga brand has used Full Flex Spandex technology for a stretchy, comfortable-fitting, quick-drying exterior with a high-performance lining and straps.
All4PartyTime summer face mask for jogging
Made from 100% certified organic cotton, the masks of this popular Californian shop are considered superior for outdoor training.
Under Armor sports mask
This mask from Under Armor has a water-repellent outside and an antimicrobial treatment on the inside so you can train all day.
Reusable, pleated poplin face mask, 3-pack
Made from 100% cotton, these breathable masks are an easy option with pleats, an adjustable nose and a filter compartment.
Outdoor Research Adrenaline Sports Face Mask Kit
With adjustable ear loops, circumferential strap and nose wire, this mask stays tight and secure during every workout.
Active face mask for women 2-pack
These malleable face masks are made from an incredibly soft fabric and feature adjustable ear loops for all-day comfort.
Carbon38 The mask kit
This set contains two stylish masks and a small laundry bag for washing. They are available in bold colors such as pink, tie-dye, camo and a glossy, leather-like black. A small size is also available.
Asics face mask
This polyester mask is soft, breathable and has a reflective logo in the lower left corner to improve visibility during night runs.