Over the past 3-4 months, most people have cautiously stepped out to resume something approaching normal activities. But with the covid-19 pandemic showing no signs of abating, if you’re going outside, wear a mask. But should you be wearing a mask while working out?
The World Health Organization (WHO) website has this to say: “People should NOT wear masks when exercising, as masks may reduce the ability to breathe comfortably. Sweat can make the mask become wet more quickly which makes it difficult to breathe and promotes the growth of microorganisms. The important preventive measure during exercise is to maintain physical distance of at least one meter from others.”
But even if you’re going out for a run in the park, or you are planning on working out with weights in a gym, you should still carry a mask. And given the fact that you’ll be sweating, it’s a good idea to invest in purpose-built sports masks that help you breathe easier and don’t get wet easily. I checked out three of the top sporty face masks in the market for comfort and performance. Here’s the lowdown on them, so you can make an informed choice.
Adidas Face Cover
Pocket friendly and comfortable, the Adidas facemasks are sold in packs of three. The first thing I noticed, and still stand by after two months of using them, is the comfort. The material used is soft and easily stretches to cover the lower part of your face, from your chin to your nose. It doesn’t leave a gap around the bridge of your nose (a problem most cloth masks have) as long as you pick the correct size. Adidas masks are available in M/L and XS/S size options. I also like the fact that the masks are made from 93% recycled polyester and in spite of washing them some 100 times, they have retained their softness. One issue I faced was that my sunglasses fog when I’m wearing the mask. The snug fit means that when you breathe out, it will go directly into your glasses (or helmet if you are riding).
₹999 for a pack of three; available at www.adidas.co.in
Under Armour Sports Mask
The Under Armour sports mask is well designed but it is quite chunky to look at, and not quite as sleek as the Adidas face cover. But in spite of the dense three-layer construction, it is extremely comfortable to move in. The structure of the mask is such that it doesn’t touch your nose or mouth, which makes it extremely comfortable to wear. However, wearing it continuously for long hours can put some pressure around your ears since they do not have any option of adjusting the strap. The mask does have an adjustable band around the nose bridge and can be fitted to shape when you wear it. The mask comes with sweat-wicking properties and Under Armour’s Iso-Chill technology, making it ideal for wearing in situations where you’re sweating. Its anti-microbial technology also inhibits growth of bacteria on the mask. It comes with a small pouch to safely store your mask in when not in use.
₹1, 999 for one; available at Under Armour outlets
Asics Runners Face Cover
I must say that the Asics Face Cover does live up to its name. Designed by the Asics Institute of Sports Science, it is not just washable and quick drying, but also has more interior space for easy breathing—thanks to a curved structure of the face cover—and a strategically placed air vent. This is a mesh opening near the chin that lets the air flow in more easily. The layered upper stops droplets from spreading when you exhale. But the best part of the face cover is its adjustable elastic fastener. Say goodbye to aching ears! Of the three, the Asics face cover definitely gives the maximum coverage and is certainly quite comfortable to walk briskly, or even run in.
₹3,500 for one; available at www.asics.com