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If you return to a gym or a gym to work out, you may have to wear. But you can also consider waiting – Dr Sandra Kesh, an infectious expert, skip workouts and workouts and warn against exercising around unmasked indoors in the short term. For your safety as well as the safety of others, it is not advisable to exercise indoors without a mask around other people you do not know. (How to fix one .)
We put on some face masks designed to train on the test and found the best breathable and moisture-repellent alternatives. We recently updated this story.
Under Armor, UA designed the Sports Mask with athletes in mind, but any avid trainer will find the mask useful if you want to upgrade from a regular fabric face mask. The mask is made in three different layers that are designed to enable air flow while protecting you. A layer of the mask has an antimicrobial treatment called “PROTX2”.
When I tried the Under Armor mask during a cardio workout, I first noticed that it felt comfortable on my face – it did not stick to my mouth, which can be uncomfortable when you breathe harder. When I started sweating, I noticed that instead of the mask feeling warm, I got a cool feeling, which was so nice.
The mask does not suck away the moisture completely, but since the fabric was not so tight against my mouth, it was no problem. While the ear loops on the mask are not adjustable, they are elastic and comfortable. Overall, I was impressed with this mask and would be comfortable wearing it in indoor or outdoor fitness settings.
The Well Movement mask is 50% cotton, so it can not stay dry during severe sweating, but for most activities it will work better than a 100% cotton mask because it is also made of sweat-friendly polyester and spandex. The ear loops are adjustable, which is a big plus for fit and comfort. There is also a practical lanyard attached so you can wear the mask around your neck.
The best feature of the mask is the malleable nose plate so you can make sure it sits comfortably and comfortably on your face. After testing this mask, I decided that it is best for walks and not intense workouts (I would choose the UnderArmour mask for them) because the fabric is thin but still comfortable.
Carbon38 Mask Kit comes with two masks, plus a laundry bag for washing. The masks are made with a mixture of polyester and cotton, so they are quick-drying and help you stay cool. The ear loops are adjustable for a fit and the masks are available in two sizes.
Carbon38 says that the masks are made with a multilayer filtration system to protect you, plus the fabric has antibacterial properties. I liked how thick the fabric is on these masks – the nose piece is also structured to help it stay in place which is helpful for movement. The adjustable ear loops help to give it a tighter and fitted fit as well.
These masks would work well for a brisk walk or other lower intensity workout as they fit close to your face. They can be difficult to carry during a more intense workout.
Everyday Mask from Proper Cloth is made of linen, has an antimicrobial treatment and contains a filter for extra barrier protection. The mask fits comfortably with adjustable ear loops and the bridge of the nose is not too stiff but helps to keep it anchored in the face.
I like the linen material because it is light and breathable, but I would wear it for more casual activities such as walking, pilates or yoga. If you sweat a lot, it would get damp, as linen is not the most performance-friendly fabric.
Exercising in yoga clothes is much more comfortable than regular clothes, so why not take the same approach to your face mask? The yoga and athletic clothing brand Onzie uses upcycled yoga fabrics to create face masks that are stretchable and dry quickly – just like your favorite leggings. Just a heads up: since the brand recycles fabric from yoga clothes, you can not choose specific colors and patterns, but it is definitely worth it for a more durable mask option.
When I tried the mask, it felt exactly as I expected. The mask fits snugly over the face, but the material is stretchy (like yoga pants) and breathable. Even if the ear loops are not adjustable, they are still comfortable and the mask is still tight.
Since the mask is not super adjustable, I would wear it for training with lower intensity that does not make you breathe so hard. For more intense workouts, such as high-performance cardio, you want to make sure you have some space around your mouth to breathe, so the UnderArmour mask would be more appropriate.
Coral uses the same antimicrobial performance fabric to make face masks as its active clothing, which is stretchy and quick-drying. When I tested it, I immediately found the soft, stretchy fabric comfortable against my face. The only thing I did not love about this mask was that the ear loops are not adjustable. After using this mask for a jog or walk, you can throw it in the laundry because the mask is machine washable.
Athleta Made to Move Mask was designed especially for training – which I could tell right away when I tested the mask. It is one of the most comfortable and breathable masks I have tried yet.
The material is light and the inside of the mask has a net lining. The fabrics help to absorb moisture and the mask is tight, but you can still breathe. There is also an inner pocket inside the mask if you want to add a filter layer (even if it is not included). The ear loops are made of a soft elastic that does not pull on the hair and is adjustable.
Athleta Mask is perfect for walking or even outdoor exercises such as jogging or cycling. Because the mask is breathable and adjustable, you can feel confident that it will not fall off your face while moving.
What to look for in face masks for exercise
Fabric is one of the most important factors when it comes to training with a mask. Cloth masks are good for everyday activities. But with exercise, cotton gets moist very quickly, which can make it harder to breathe and can promote bacterial growth. So for that reason, masks are made with a breathable fabric that is similar to that used in active wear (like spandex or polyester). But still you want the mask to be breathable and comfortable while you move.
There is nothing worse than wearing a face mask or falling off while moving. First, it’s just annoying. Secondly, it will interfere with your training if you have to stop fixing it and you will probably need to touch your face – which you should avoid doing to be safe.
Look for a face mask that is adjustable or available in different sizes so that you can find the best fit for you. Stretchy ear loops or elastic tend to fit snugly and do not slip as much as the masks that tie around the head.
Because sweat and moisture can be a breeding ground for bacteria, masks that have some type of filter or antimicrobial coating are ideal for physical activity. (Many of the masks in this list have these features.) While these may not kill or destroy a virus particle, it does not hurt to have these extra obstacles in place.
Also understand that no worm on this list can offer a 100% guarantee that it will protect you from the virus, no matter how many nice features they have. But wearing a mask is simply another tool that can act as an extra barrier to stop the spread and protect you and others.
More exercise and health advice
The information in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified healthcare provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health goal.