Though COVID-19 is still changing the way Americans do things, with spring coming up, college students may be anxious to get out of their dorms and apartments for some exercise. The Eppley Recreation Center at the University of Maryland continues to require masks for all members. But what masks are the best for working out?
Raya Seid, a personal trainer and group fitness instructor at UMD, recommends reusable masks for her clients’ workouts. While some clients prefer to use disposable masks, those masks can get gross and sweaty during a workout, Seid said.
More important than the type of mask, Seid also recommends “mask cages'' to her clients. Mask cages are small pieces of plastic inserted in a mask to keep it from sticking to the face.
“The cage prevents the mask from coming in, because sometimes when you inhale the mask gets sucked in and you feel like you can’t breathe,” Seid said.
Though some types of masks are better than others, the most important thing is to simply have a mask with you at every workout. The distance that particles from your breath can travel, along with the increased rate of breathing during a workout, make a mask essential, Seid said. “If there’s any place you should have this on, it’s while you’re inside an enclosed area at the gym, and when you’re breathing at that exacerbated of a rate,” Seid said.
During the pandemic, keeping workouts safe is a top priority for gym goers. We’ve compiled a list of the best masks and mask accessories to keep you and others safe during your next workout.
Ariat AriatTEKMask ($13.95) These masks from Ariat offer a protective mesh interior to keep bacteria out, while also using a cooling fabric to prevent discomfort. If you find your current disposable mask to be suffocating during your squats, try out this reusable one instead.
Athleta Women’s Activate Face Mask 2 Pack ($20.00) Designed to be worn during a workout, these face masks from Athleta are Seid’s go-to recommendation for clients. Made of TurboDry™ fabric andcoming in six colors, these masks will keep you comfortable and colorful at your next trip to the gym.
Under Armour Sportsmask ($30.00) This Under Armour sportsmask uses an antimicrobial treatment on the inside to keep the mask fresh during an intense workout. Don’t worry about giving it your all when you hit the gym with this mask; moisture and sweat will have a hard time penetrating the mask’s polyurethane open-cell foam.
Amazon 3D Mask Bracket ($9.99) This mask cage is Seid’s favorite accessory to keep the mask from interrupting your breathing during a hard cardio workout. Made from non-toxic plastic, this mask cage will take pressure off of your nose, letting you breathe easily with every rep.
Athleta Mask Bag ($15.00) Have you ever run out the door and had to double back to grab your mask? This Athleta mask bag hangs around your neck, ensuring that you never misplace your mask again. Compact and functional, this bag will keep you on time for every yoga class and gym session you squeeze in this semester. The bag is also great for keeping your mask sanitary in your workout duffel (who wants their mask touching their dirty socks?)
Etsy Custom Bead Mask Chain ($30.00) These custom mask chains from Etsy make it easier than ever to keep your mask close. Right after a sweaty workout, you can rip your mask off in the car without worrying about where it has gone; just look down at your neck. Use the custom beads to put your initials on the chain, and everyone in the gym will know you take pride in your mask.
Going to the gym during COVID-19 has not been easy, but with these masks and mask accessories, it will be easier than ever to get in a good workout while taking care of yourself and those around you.