The emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way the world operates. Lives were lost, people’s jobs were affected, and social life had changed. It seemed that what we call “normal daily routine” had radically changed. Safety and health guidelines were put into place, namely the wearing of face masks, observance of social distancing, and proper hygiene, including the regular washing of the hands and frequent sanitizing. For someone who does yoga and the gym a significant part of their lives, one of the questions asked, “How does it feel to wear a yoga mask during yoga or gym sessions?”
Listed below are five things you need to know before wearing a yoga mask.
A Yoga Mask is Effective.
Health experts around the world have agreed that wearing masks (even homemade ones) are an effective barrier and shield in reducing the spread of the said virus. Per recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), everyone in the United States must wear face masks (or coverings) when in public places. Consistent with the recommendations, gyms and fitness centers require matrons to wear masks.
Evidence suggests that the spreading of respiratory particles may be greater during exercise since breathing may intensify as the body is working harder. The finding implies that social distancing and limiting the number of patrons may not suffice. Hence, the wearing of a yoga mask is indeed essential in preventing the spread of COVID-19. In sum, masks in any form and shapes are generally safe for healthy individuals. However, if you are experiencing cardiovascular or respiratory conditions, you might want to tone down the intensity of your workout or wait until your symptoms go away.
Benefits of Wearing a Yoga Mask
Yoga masks are neither too heavy and soggy nor too thin. According to pulmonologists, masks become less effective when it soaks up moisture. When it’s too soggy, it might cause breathing discomfort to the wearer. However, if it becomes too thin, respiratory droplets may pass through, especially when one is breathing heavily during exercise.
- Breathable and stretchy fabric. KN95 and medical-grade face masks may not be stretchable; ergo, they might not provide optimum protection. Unlike the aforementioned masks, yoga masks have stretchable fabric, which means that you can adjust and even reposition what part of your face you want to cover. This feature brings a comfortable fit to varying face shapes. Also, its materials will allow you to breathe easier during exercise compared to other face masks variants. Suffice to say; a yoga mask is perfect for daily exercise since they are breathable and will not impede your airflow.
- Reusable and washable. The best thing about yoga masks is that they are reusable. Make sure that you wash your yoga masks thoroughly before wearing them again to kill COVID-19 particles effectively.
- Economical and eco-friendly. Since they are reusable and washable, you only need two or three yoga masks until this plague is over. For those who are cutting corners and do not want to hurt mother nature by laying wastes, yoga masks are perfect for you.
- Wearing Yoga Masks is better than having NO protection at all. Recognizing that medical-grade masks offer more protection than yoga masks, it does not change the fact that wearing yoga masks is better than wearing no masks at all.
Wearing a Yoga Mask the Right Way
During exercise, one must strike a balance between comfort and safety. Here are some tips to consider when wearing yoga masks:
- Make sure it is the right fit. When choosing yoga masks for exercising, make sure it fits well. By this, it means that it will not fall off while doing your routine and would not necessitate frequent repositioning or adjustments. There have been several incidents where wearers are forced to remove their masks on mere reasons of discomfort, thereby increasing their chances of contracting the virus. Hence, comfort and safety are two essential factors in choosing the perfect yoga mask for you.
- Wear yoga masks the right way. When exercising, they must be worn most of the time. The wearer must not take it off and then wear it whenever he likes doing so. Consistency is of paramount importance. Also, it needs to be replaced when it gets damp or moist; otherwise, it would no longer be effective and would only give you a false sense of security.
- Wash your hands regularly. The wearer must always wash his hands since unwashed hands may transfer COVID-19 particles, rendering the masks dirty and infected. As a general rule, one must always wash his hands before and after wearing and removing the mask.
- Test your yoga masks. At home, you can wear your yoga mask and see whether it needs constant repositioning. The rule is that once you have worn it, it should stay in place.
- Wear your style. Yoga masks can be quite trendy and stylish since they come in different colors and designs. You can mix and match the color of your gym or yoga outfit with the color or the design of your yoga masks. This is a plus factor for wearers who do not want to compromise style while ensuring safety at the same time. Is this what we call a pandemic fashion trend?
Take care of your yoga masks.
Yoga masks should be regularly washed. Mayo Clinic recommends that masks should be washed after it has been used during the day. It could be hand washed or machine-washed, as long as there would be no damage caused to the shape and form of the masks.
A Symbol of Solidarity
Wearing yoga masks resonate with your efforts in making yourself and your community safe. It sends a message that you value your safety and respect theirs too. Hence, wearing yoga masks even in yoga and fitness centers manifests efforts of solidarity.
Undeniably, this pandemic has brought a myriad of changes and affected us in profound ways. Know that yoga masks alone may not be effective in containing the spread of the virus. Hence, additive effects (a combination of physical distancing, frequent handwashing, and avoidance of crowded spaces) must also be adhered.