While the wearing a mask It has always been recommended to avoid dust or pollution while doing sport Outdoors, such as running or cycling, the new situation caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic has brought the discussion about its use back to the fore.
For several months, more than a year now, since March 2020, the departures of runners, cyclists and walkers have been in question due to the need or not to use a mask for their respective sports practices. In Spain the mask is not mandatory for individual sports practiceYes, as a team – soccer, basketball, handball … – but it is recommended by the authorities. Especially if we do sport within urban centers.
Perhaps there is one of the most important recommendations that have been made during these pandemic months: let’s try to train outdoors in little crowded areas and not in the center of cities where there is a greater accumulation of people.
We start from the basis that the perfect masks for sports do not exist because, although they avoid absorbing harmful particles without reducing respiratory capacity, they are not effective against the coronavirus or the flu. For this function there are so-called filtering masks, with which you are surely already more than familiar, among which are the FFP2 and FFP3.
So, in summary, you will find two large groups of masks: the exclusive ones for sports that are not safe against viruses and the filtering ones that, thanks to their microparticle filters, prevent infections to a lesser or greater extent, but they are not especially designed for sports.
Activated Carbon: YuNo
Ideal for outdoor cycling, hiking, or other sports, this mask is one size fits all (with back adjustment).
Available in two colors, blue and red, it is comfortable to use to practice your favorite sports.
Velcro closure: IDAWEN
This sports mask has a micro-perforated fabric of breathability Maximum and quick drying, it is white in color and has a black trim.
It is very important that the mask does not move during the sports session, therefore, IDAWENMASK 2.0 incorporates a velcro closure in the neck and head area with a strap that you can optionally place above the ears to help fix the mask.
Made of soft and breathable fabric, this Adidas mask has a comfortable design, washable and reusable that allows you to practice sports.
Wash it before each use at 60 ° C using a normal detergent. Wash it before the first use. When the tissue is damp, change your mask. Wearing this mask is not a substitute for other hygiene measures.
This mask comes in a pack of three units and is made of 93% recycled polyester, 7% elastane.
The brand recalls that it is not personal protective equipment, so you must follow sanitary measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
Neck support: Decohouse
This mask is approved according to the UNE 0065/2020 standard and the European CWA17553 standard. It is made with a double layer of fabric approved according to the UNE-0065/2020 standard. This model does not require a filter.
In addition, it stands out for its elastic band for attachment to the ears. The filtering efficiency is greater than 90%.
It is made of 80% polyester, 20% viscose. The manufacturer indicates that it is effective up to 10 washes. The recommended wear time between each wash.
The microfiber Lyocell advanced with which it is made is 5 times more breathable than standard cotton fabric. It has a velcro closure and can be easily adjusted. Ideal for sports!
This mask is sustainable, washable and reusable, and can be washed with cold water up to 150 times
Available in one size and in blue.
Some basic notions
Abbreviations FPP (Filtering Face Piece) are accompanied by a numbering that indicates the minimum filtration percentage. They are the most recommended and are approved by the European Union. We distinguish three types:
The FFP1 masks filter 78% of the particles.
The FFP2 masks, without a valve, have a filtration efficiency of 92%, some models are washable and reusable and prevent both transmission and contagion.
The FFP3 masks they are 98% safe.
Likewise, you can also purchase an N95 mask that has a filtering capacity of 95% and is approved by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) from United States. Or, the KN95 model certified by the Chinese authorities with the same percentage of protection.
What’s more, a mask optimal for sports must meet certain characteristics: fit snugly against the face so that air does not leak, be breathable and made of microfiber to prevent sweat from accumulating and include real protection filters (FFP2 and FFP3) to prevent contagion or being infected.
Play sports safely
Social distancing is going to be part of our lives for a long time, also in the field of sports. The data and studies show that the safety distance should be increased according to the physical activity that is practiced, so pay attention to the following tips:
When walking, keep a minimum distance of four to five meters.
When running, keep a minimum distance of ten meters.
When riding a bike, increase the minimum distance to twenty meters when riding at a moderate / high speed. If you move at the same speed as a runner, the recommended distance remains at 10 meters.
How to wash the masks
Regarding its care, both the fabric with which it is made and the type of approved protection filter that it carries must be taken into account.
The FFP2 and FFP3 models do not include a removable filter, but can be machine washed at 60ºC and left to air dry. There are models that incorporate replacement filters. This filter is effective for 8 hours on average. Afterwards, it is recommended to discard it and change it for a new one.
As a conclusion, it could be stated that the use of masks When practicing sports it is recommended since, although there is no perfect model, they are a barrier and help to minimize exposure to pathogens and polluting particles.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.