Playing Sports With a Face Mask Might Be Hard Than You Think

Play Sports With a Face Mask

Wearing a face mask is one way of slowing down any spread of infectious diseases, and yet a lot of people see this as a potential barrier when trying to exercise or play some sports.

Whether you are comfortable wearing a mask or not while exercising, it still leads to many people’s questions. Some even claim that it restricts your airflow when trying to do your exercises without looking at the science behind it. 

Can you play sports with a face mask? You can still wear a mask if you are playing sports, but if you are having difficulty breathing due to the intensity of the sports you are playing, you will have a hard time. If you are doing high-intensity sports, maintain a safe distance from other people.

In this article, you will learn more about wearing a mask if you are playing sports or doing physical activities.

The Science Behind Face Masks

The only purpose of wearing a face mask is to provide you with a barrier between your nose/mouth, through which air entering the lungs has to pass.

To be precise, its primary role is to filter out particles and droplets from the air inhaled and exhaled by an individual.

This is why mask use not only helps to protect you from potential infection but can also help to reduce the risk of transmitting virus particles into your surrounding environment.

Because most of the virus particles present now are extremely small, about 125 nanometers in diameter, the smaller the size of the particles that can be filtered out, the more effective your mask will be.

Although there might be a lot of masks available out there, most fall into two categories:

  1. Surgical Mask – a loose-fitting, disposable device that can give you enough protection between your mouth and nose. These are usually referred to as face masks, although not all face masks are regulated as surgical masks. Just bear in mind that the mask’s edges are not designed to form a seal around the nose and mouth.

  2. N95 Mask was made to achieve a very close facial fit and be very efficient in filtering out all airborne particles. This mask means that when subjected to careful testing, the respirator can block at least 95 percent of very small test particles.

    The edges of this respirator are designed to form a seal around your mouth and nose. Many surgical N95 respirators are used in healthcare settings, and if properly fitted, their filtration exceeds those of surgical masks.

Wearing a Mask While Playing Sports

There are still many debates over whether wearing a mask while playing sports or exercising is safe. Yes, it is definitely safe to wear a mask while you are doing physical activities.

Research shows that your heart rate, respiratory rate, oxygen level, and time of exhaustion are not affected. This is based on rigorous testing of an individual wearing a mask during moderate to strenuous aerobic physical activity.

Depending on the activity, your face mask will vary according to the type of physical activity you’re doing. Cloth masks or masks made from a moisture-wicking material can typically work as well.

The material used for the mask should be no more than two layers thick. The bad news is that surgical masks can easily break down as they become wet from sweat.

Aside from the overall mask breakdown, you can tell that the use of surgical or N95 masks is useful and safe, with minimal effects on major performance factors.

These include heart rate, respiration rate, blood pressure, and oxygen saturation. However, many previous studies show that wearing N95 masks while active has shown changes in body temperature, increased breath resistance, and even some discomfort.

Won’t Affect Physical Performance

While wearing a mask might not be dangerous or affect your overall performance, you still need to consider this when purchasing the right mask for your needs.

In addition, you might need to consider having a spare mask at your disposal when you need to replace your damp mask.

Always make sure that you have a replacement to maintain good hygiene, and do not forget to keep hand sanitizer with you all the time.

As mentioned above, although there might be some minimal effects to your body during exercise or sports, they won’t affect your overall performance.

Research has determined that surgical masks or even cloth ones do not affect exhaustion or even peak power.

Who Should Not Wear a Mask?

It is safe to wear a mask if you are doing sports activities or just your regular workout routine, for a lot of people.

That is except if you have chronic lung diseases like chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases, mesothelioma, or pulmonary hypertension. You need to talk with your doctor before trying to do some physical activities while wearing a mask.

What Happens When You Play Sports With a Mask?

You might be wondering what happens to your body when you try to play sports with a mask on. The first thing you’ll notice is a little bit of discomfort if you’re wearing a mask while playing a sport.

This is normal, as you are still trying to adjust to wearing a mask on your face. These feelings should decrease over time, and you can expect no difference when you are doing other sports or aerobic exercises.


Overall, wearing a facemask while you play sports is possible. It will not hinder or affect the gameplay. You will feel a little awkward, but in time that will be gone, and you will be back in the game.

Wearing a face mask not only protects you but also protects other people from getting infectious diseases. Consult your doctor to answer your questions regarding the risks or effects if you feel slight discomfort.

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