The latest facial mask shows are designed to be stretched, sweat-proof and designed to smile – all of these key features are highlighted in Gap’s latest Athleta Made to Move face mask, its second edition in the mask space.
As coronavirus continues to spread, face masks are mandatory in more than half of the U.S. states. The masks help reduce the spread of coronavirus by blocking large droplets that would otherwise spread further when coughing or sneezing. Masks work best in conjunction with safe social isolation practices and regular hand washing, so they are often accentuated indoors. Some of the rules of a face mask include wearing it when exercising in densely populated areas where you cannot socially isolate yourself. As we reported in our guide to buying facial masks for exercise, masks can be uncomfortable to wear while exercising ̵1; after all, the fabric breathes and blocks solids. In addition, fabric masks can be wet and damp, mixed with sweat. Depending on how tightly woven the fabric material is, masks can make breathing difficult. Athleta, one of the most popular suppliers of fitness face masks, hopes to find the latest balanced face mask with Made to Move mask.
Unlike the brand’s daily non-medicated masks, the Made to Move mask is a lighter, exercise-friendly mask designed to stay on the face during exercise, says Jana Henning, Athleta’s product manager. Its binding is made of soft elastic to prevent hair from getting caught during exercise, and two layers of the company’s patented feather elastic fabric: a blend of polyester and spandex with a polyester and mesh blend insert. The brand’s feather fabric combines comfort and performance, creating less friction on your face and preventing the accumulation of heat and oil, Athleta’s design team told NBC Shopping.
Unlike the Everyday Mask, the Athleta Made to Move Mask has a contoured design that moves during movement, with an adjustable nose bridge for more comfort. The mask covers the mouth and nose, but especially leaves the upper cheekbones visible, making it easier to tell when the wearer is smiling (helping others understand body language hints), says the Athleta design team.
The flexible stitching in the center of the mask helps prevent tissue from the mouth during exercise – a new feature of the mask. The mask also protects against moisture to prevent the masks from getting wet during exercise, and has a pocket that can be inserted into the filter.
The ear loops and nose bridge are adjustable so the mask can fit on a variety of faces. Masks come in two sizes: women’s and girls’. Girls’ masks are similar to adult masks “Made to Move”, but the packages come in different colors:
- Warm – pink, blue and gray masks
- And cool – gray camo, gray blue and yellow
The company wanted to design a mask that would be “really easy to put on,” Henning said. To do this, they contributed customer input. The Instagram survey provided Athleta with 4,500 responses from women and girls who weighed what they wanted from their mask.
One of the pain points was forcing people to actually wear masks – so comfort was the “key” to the design, Henning said. The survey specifically asked what colors customers would actually wear, encouraging the aforementioned palettes of cool and warm colors. The company consulted with medical experts at the University of California, San Francisco, and used their feedback to make sure the mask was appropriate and adhered to the guidelines, so features such as a headband and pocket for filter inserts were included. The end result came after three design iterations and months of wear testing.
How to Buy Exercise Face Masks |
Whether you choose an Athleta face mask or another, be sure to consider the best face mask for you and the guidelines set by the CDC. When buying any mask, give priority to the quality of the material and air. Look for masks with a few layers of tightly woven but still breathable fabric, such as cotton, Scott Segal, MD, MHCM, chairman of the Department of Anaesthesiology at Wake Forest Medical School, previously told NBC News Shopping. Segal conducted a peer-reviewed study to test the effectiveness of different tissues in filtering particles. A simple test of the mask’s effectiveness is to hold it up to the sky. If you see sunlight through the fabric, it’s not woven tightly enough, he said – you can try something similar with a flashlight.
“The most important thing to look for is a comfortable mask that can stay in place covering the nose, mouth and chin. Some people with less comfortable masks are less likely to use them, ”said Richard Martinello, MD, a professor of infectious diseases at Yale Medical School, NBC News said. “Remember that physical detachment is also important, even if you wear a mask.”
Breathing and flexibility of workout tissues such as desiccants can affect the effectiveness of a face mask in filtering out some particles, Segal said. His study showed that knitted fabrics are less effective in filtering particles than woven fabrics. However, the most important thing is that the mask is firmly attached to the face and covers the nose and mouth. If you’re having a hard time training with a mask, consider avoiding situations where you should wear it, said Melanie Carver, chief mission officer for the American Asthma and Allergy Foundation.
“Consider exercising at home or in private spaces where you are alone or can maintain a safe, physical distance from others,” she said.
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