Throughout the last year, even as movie theaters, playhouses, malls, and shopping centers have closed, the great outdoors has remained a place of refuge and escape for people worldwide. Hundreds of nature-lovers old and new, have hit the streets and the trails. But even outdoors, it's important to prioritize your own and others' health through breathable face masks.
Most of us know by now that COVID-19 is primarily transmitted through aerosol droplets in the air. These droplets increase in size and frequency as people perform strenuous or physical activity that might cause them to pant, yell, or breathe heavily. Because of the increased transmission risk, experts recommend that everyone wear masks outdoors when working out—especially in groups of two or more people.
Wearing a mask during exercise
While some might be hesitant to add a mask to their exercise routine, research shows that not only is wearing a mask completely safe during exercise, it's also necessary to protect yourself and those around you. The Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports released an article in September 2020 titled Return to training in the COVID-19 era: The physiological effects of face masks during exercise that confirmed the efficacy and safety of masks during exercise.
"Universal masking is recommended as a means of source control. Routinely exercising in a safe environment is an important strategy for healthy living during this crisis. As sports clubs and public spaces may serve a source of viral transmission, masking may become an integral part of physical activity."
The Mayo Clinic, a leading medical research institution in the United States, confirmed these findings, adding that masks had no impact on heart rate, oxygen levels, or performance.
"It's safe to wear a mask while exercising. New research has shown that your heart rate, respiratory rate, blood pressure, oxygen level and time of exhaustion are not significantly affected by wearing a mask during moderate to strenuous aerobic physical activity."
This means that you can confidently mask up during your weekend long-run or morning hike routine and won't see a significant performance lag.
But masks aren't just for this current COVID-era. They are also a valuable protective resource for people concerned about pollution, smoke, or dust. The American Lung Association says pollution can raise people's risk for respiratory illness and lung cancer, increase asthma frequency and severity, and lower your body's immune responses.
But these risks don't mean you have to stop doing the activities you love. With a high-quality, properly equipped mask, you can protect yourself against emissions and pollution as well as COVID-19.
With that in mind, it can be difficult to find a comfortable, breathable mask that is both effective, safe, and secure during extensive outdoor activity. When performing activities like hiking, cycling, and running, you'll need a mask that is comfortable, easy to breathe in, and flexible.
There are several factors you should consider when choosing a mask for working out. The Mayo Clinic recommends wearing a cloth mask that is a maximum of two layers thick when exercising.
"Cloth masks or masks made of moisture-wicking material, such as polyester, typically work well. Mask material should be no more than two layers thick or less. Unfortunately, surgical masks may break down, as they become wet from sweat and increased exhalation that occurs during exercise."
The best masks for sports should be lightweight, so they don't disrupt your performance; cloth or moisture-wicking to keep you dry; snug and flexible so it can maintain its shape and move as you do; and they should be breathable to keep you energized and oxygenated during your workout.
Breathable masks have two main functions. They must act as a dust mask to stop pollution, particles, and pathogens from entering your airways while also allowing you to breathe clean, fresh air easily and naturally.
Cambridge Masks has worked tirelessly to address this problem through our BASIC mask series—the ultimate comfortable, breathable mask for runners, cyclists, hikers, and outdoor enthusiasts seeking to maintain their active lifestyles while still staying safe and protected.
CAMBRIDGE MASK BASIC FILTER TECHNOLOGY
With a high-quality, breathable respirator and adjustable straps, this is the perfect mask for sports, outdoor activities, and pollution mitigation. It filters over 90 percent of pollution, gases, bacteria and viruses—including COVID-19.
As the world's most trusted anti-pollution mask, the Cambridge Mask BASIC can protect against microparticulate matter, smoke, smog, dust, and pollution for up to 90 hours of total usage. Plus, it comes with its own sealable storage bag to ensure your mask is clean and accessible at all times.
Due to our breathable respirator, two-layered protection, and snug fit, the Cambridge Mask BASIC is the perfect way to meet your fitness needs while also protecting your health and safety.
The primary filter layer can filter out larger particles PM10 and above and is perfect for keeping out any dust or debris you encounter outdoors. It comes in five sizes suitable for both adults and children and is available in a variety of fashionable colors and designs, so you can choose the mask that works best for you.
The second layer of our Cambridge BASIC series is a three-ply Micro-particulate layer that is designed to block particulates PM2.5 and above and filters out 99.79 percent of particulates PM0.3 and above. The BASIC series provides wearers with the highest possible protection against microparticulate matter, viruses, bacteria, and other harmful emissions, so you can confidently wear it during workouts with the assurance you're protected.