High-Performance Neck Gaiters and Face Coverings for All Year Round | NAROO Sports Masks NAROO MASK

High-Performance Neck Gaiters and Face Coverings for All Year Round

No matter what the sport, athletes pour their soul into perfecting it. This usually translates to consistent and physically arduous training, often over long hours in less than favorable conditions.

Dedicated athletes, whether amateur or professional, don’t let weather or the environment stand in the way of gaining excellence. Whether it be the sweltering sun and scattered dust of summer or the painfully cold air of winter, sportspeople don’t back down from their training. 

However, athletes must take care to protect themselves from the elements – sun, rain or the cold. Without the right protective gear, they would be risking serious health concerns – lung damage, skin cancer, heat cramps, heat exhaustion, frostbite, and much more. 

The right equipment is mandatory for athletes to get through and thrive in challenging conditions – be it a sprint in 50°C (122°F) or soccer drills in -5°C (23°F). In particular, they must adequately protect their faces, necks and heads for optimal performance and minimal damage.

Why do athletes need to protect their faces and necks?

There are multiple natural and man-made elements that pose a threat to athletes’ health. A few of the most common ones:

  • Extreme Heat
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  • The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has directed that athletes who exercise in extreme heat without the right protective gear can fall prey to dehydration and contract heat-related illnesses like heat exhaustion and heat stroke – sometimes facing fatal consequences.
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  • The sun’s UV-A (longer wave) and UV-B (shorter wave) rays can cause accelerated aging, irreversible skin damage and multiple skin cancers. UV-B rays cause tanning and skin burns, leading to damaged skin cells and a higher cancer risk. 

• Extreme Cold

  • …extended exposure to cold can overwhelm its auto-regulation mechanism,” said Matthew Chinn, MD, emergency medicine physician with the Froedtert & MCW Moorland Reserve Emergency Department. “Shivering is one way the body maintains its temperature. As hypothermia progresses, the body’s shivering mechanism may stop working, people may become confused and the heart can stop working normally.”
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  • Human lungs find it tough to warm and humidify cold air, which can dehydrate and impair airways. Athletes experience coughing, burning sensation in the throat and windpipe and breathing issues when training in cold temperatures. Intense cold-weather exercise can force the lining of human airways to dehydrate, dry and suffer long-term, even irreversible damage.

• Dust inhalation

  • Dust or particulate matter can have seriously adverse health effects when inhaled without adequate protection:

    1. Premature death in people with heart or lung disease
    2. Irregular heartbeat
    3. Magnified asthma symptoms
    4. Reduced lung function. Larger particles, if inhaled can also lead to scarring of lung or airway tissue
    5. Aggravated respiratory symptoms – irritation of the airways, coughing, wheezing, irregular breathing

Unfortunately, air pollution has become commonplace for modern humans, especially those living in metropolitan areas. Avoiding dust, fumes, insects, etc. is of utmost importance, and while individuals can avoid the worst of it by training early mornings or late evenings (lower traffic rates and factory fumes), they still need protection from inhaling particles suspended in air. Dust-free air is no longer a reality for most outdoor athletes. 

Athletes and people staying outdoors often use bandanas, kerchiefs, scarves and other items to cover up so as to protect themselves. But articles of clothing often prove ineffective in the face of heat, sunlight, humidity and dust alike. Intense physical activity becomes exceptionally difficult when someone is smothered by clothing on the face and mouth. Additionally, cloth covers become moist due to exhaled breath and sweat, adding further to the inconvenience. 

Needless to say, serious athletes cannot depend on makeshift items to cover their faces up in the midst of serious and stringent practice routines. They need lightweight breathable face masks that provide guaranteed protection and are designed to endure and adapt to the demands of arduous movement in rough weather. 

NAROO X1 - yellow mask on model in black for hot weather sports mask for UV protection in Spring and summer

How can athletes protect themselves without ruining their performance?

Since athletes are always on the move, it is imperative that they have accessories that adapt and modify with their physical activity. A sports facemark or a neck gaiter can’t slide off because the runner wearing it broke into a sprint. Whatever the physical intensity or the weather condition, sports face coverings must perform as flawlessly as the athlete wearing it. 

Driven by the aim to provide athletes with the best-in-industry protective gear, NAROO has developed the X-Series with X-FIBER fabric to ensure that their masks, neck gaiters, and balaclavas will move as they do. In other words, the mask and fabric adapt to the shape of the wearer’s face and neck as it changes under the pressures of movement and physical exertion. 

Made with honeycomb knitting that builds on and augments the features of a neck gaiter and mask, X-FIBER is elastic and shaped to perform flawlessly under consistent movement, pressure and duress. In simple words, it goes as you go, moves as you do.  

NAROO X5s - red sports mask on BMX athlete for UV protection, all-weather, mesh fabric, quick-dry fabric, and ear loops

Features and Benefits of X-FIBER:

  • • Elastic with honeycomb knitting that improves all typical characteristics of commonly used face masks such as cycling masks, neck gaiters, balaclavas, ski masks, etc.
  • • X-FIBER maintains elasticity under all circumstances. It stretches and morphs to adjust to each individual face.
  • • It is breathable, equipped with UV protection and windshield capacities, making it perfect for all kinds of weather. It also prevents insects and dust from being inhaled into noses and mouths.
  • • The X-FIBER in our winter masks – X9 and X5H, serves to keep athletes warm while eliminating moisture for optimal body temperature and performance. It also warms the air before it is inhaled, preventing coughing, wheezing or lung damage due to the cold.
  • • It dries quickly in wet or humid conditions.
  • • It serves as an ideal replacement to neck gaiters.
  • Through sustained research and real-world upgrades, NAROO masks offer high levels of protection for individuals with active lifestyles, be it in the sun, rain, snow or wind. They are an important tool in the active individual’s toolkit, essential for protection against environmental factors that can damage bodies and restrict performance. 
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  • NAROO’s breathable sports masks have been inspected and certified by a number of prestigious verification bodies. The X-FIBER is the backbone of these masks – a fabric that guards both adults and children from dust, heat, sweat and chill. It also keeps air breathable and warm, giving athletes the opportunity to get all the oxygen they need and keep their lungs unscathed, even in peak training periods. 
 
 
Written by Shreya Bose (Weloquent)

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