Runners have always been safety-conscious. Whether it's keeping an ear out for traffic, tracking the neighborhood dogs, dodging cyclists, or keeping an eye out for uneven terrain, the list of considerations only grew longer this year. With the onset of the coronavirus pandemic early in 2020, running took on an entirely new layer of concern.
Can you transmit or contract COVID-19 while running? And if so, how could we stay safe and pursue our fitness goals at the same time?
The good news is that it's very likely that you can keep running outdoors with a low risk of contracting the coronavirus.
According to experts, "As long as you're maintaining at least 6 feet of distance from other people and you're not in a high-risk group, you're engaged in a very low-risk activity, particularly if you and others are wearing masks."
It's that last sentence that really matters when it comes to keeping your risk factor low while running. Keeping your distance from other people is the safest and most effective way to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
As all runners know, however, depending on your running situation, it's not always possible to maintain 6 feet of distance between yourself and other runners.
This is particularly true if you live in a downtown area, run in a crowded park or busy trail setting, or engage in group runs. In those cases, you must absolutely run in a mask.
While running is a mask is not everyone's ideal situation, making the choice to do so will keep you and others safe. Fortunately, there are products available that can make this practice much less of an issue than you might assume.
When making your choice of masks, you must simply take these four factors into consideration.
Consideration 1: Breathable
As all runners know, controlling your breathing is a major component of the sport, and anything that restricts breathing is an absolute detriment. Because protective masks cover the nose and mouth, the wrong mask will certainly have negative effects on your run. If your mask is thick, heavy, has too many layers, or sits too tightly against your nose and mouth, you will struggle to regulate your breathing.
Fortunately, not all masks restrict breathing to the same extent. In fact, a few masks are downright breathable. Our one-layer protective UPF face masks, using luminology technology ®, are woven densely enough to offer three times more protection than a standard 3-layer cotton mask; yet because they're still only one layer, they're exponentially more breathable.
Bonus: they're pretty cute, too.
Consideration 2: Lightweight and Soft
Runners don't need to be carrying any extra weight. In addition to their own bodyweight, most runners already carry an array of gear. This might include their cell phones, run trackers, water bottles, gummies for mid-run fuel, and their car keys. Since runners also tend to sweat quite a bit, they like to avoid placing items on or around their faces. Other than what's absolutely necessary, of course, such as sunglasses, earbuds, or a sweatband.
Any added COVID-19 protection runners use should not increase their overall weight or cause too much friction, which could lead to chafing--a runner's worst nightmare!
Fortunately, our UPF face masks are lightweight and soft. As we've already mentioned, they're only one layer, which contributes greatly to their airy weight. They're also made from a simple cotton fabric, which is light, soft to the touch, and more wicking than masks made from layers of blended fabrics.
Consideration 3: Antimicrobial
This factor is absolutely vital. If you are going to trust your mask to protect you against the virus, it must do more than simply prevent the inhalation or exhalation of droplets. It must also actively work to fight the virus embedded in those droplets.
That's where antimicrobials come in.
Antimicrobials (also called biocides and antimicrobial pesticides) are substances that kill or slow the spread of microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, or fungi, and they are crucial in helping to prevent and stop the spread of harmful microbes...Products containing antimicrobials are used in home, office, and healthcare settings to control bacteria and help prevent people from getting sick. (Chemical Safety Facts)
COVID-19 is still considered a "new" virus; and as such, it has not yet undergone the same sort of rigorous testing other viruses and bacterias have been subjected to. Because of that fact, no one product has yet been labeled as the product that can alone kill the coronavirus. At the same time, since antimicrobials have successfully fought similar hard-to-kill viruses, it's presumed by the EPA that they are equally effective against this one.
That's why all our UPF face masks are all antimicrobial. They not only add an extra layer of protection against the virus; they're odor-resistant as well. A definite bonus for runners!
Consideration 4: Temperature-Regulating
The success of both outdoor and indoor runs is at least partially dependent on the climate. Because body temperature rises during runs, running in a warm or hot climate increases both effort and risk. In fact, if safety protocols aren't followed, hot-weather running can be downright dangerous.
To stay safe, runners should always work to regulate their temperature while running.
A few temperature-regulating tips for runners include:
Wearing light, breathable clothing
Avoiding the peak heat of the day
Avoiding running outdoors if the heat index is above body temperature (98.6 degrees)
Slowing down and taking breaks
Running with a partner
Choosing a shady route whenever possible
When running during the coronavirus era, be sure to add "wearing a temperature-regulating face mask" to your checklist.
Our UPF face masks allow for comfort no matter the climate. Since they're composed of simply one light, breathable layer, they're unlikely to trap heat against your face the way other masks might.
We Can Help
Here at Luminora, we're here to help you enjoy your moments in the sun.
Check our product page and choose from among the +15 stunning face masks we provide, including both decorative and solid patterns!
While you're there, consider pairing your mask with our Perfect T. Made from the same soft, lightweight fabric as our masks, these comfy tees are also UPF 50+, antimicrobial, and temperature-regulating, and they're offered in both long sleeve and short sleeve styles.