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While some cities have started reopening shops and restaurants, the majority of the country is still observing quarantine procedures that were put in place to help curb the spread of the coronavirus. One such measure that’s still in place is the wearing of face masks when out in public, with the CDC recommending cloth face coverings to help prevent the transmission of germs and viruses.
But while cloth face masks can keep you shielded on a walk, or quick trip to the grocery store, not all of these masks are designed for physical activity. Generic cloth masks aren’t always breathable, and worse, they can irritate or chaff the skin. They’re often heavy and saggy, and can fall off if not secured tightly, defeating the whole point of wearing a mask in the first place.
Luckily, a number of manufacturers are now designing face masks specifically for running, cycling and working out. Keep in mind: these are non-medical face masks, so while they will help shield you against dust, debris or an accidental spray when talking to someone, they aren’t designed for doctors, nurses or frontline workers.
What Are the Best Face Masks For Running and Cycling?
The best face masks for running, cycling or working out should keep you safe, comfortable and dry. Here are a few important things to look for.
Material: Similar to your workout clothes, you want to look for masks made from lightweight, moisture-wicking materials. The best masks for working out will wick away sweat, to keep your face dry and comfortable. You’ll want masks with a bit of stretch in them too (look for the words “elastane” or “spandex” on the tag). This ensures that your mask stays flexible and stays put, moving with you on your run rather than sliding off.
Breathability: All of the picks on our list are made from breathable materials, so you’ll never feel suffocated even if the fabric is over your nose and mouth. Some of our picks have tiny perforations in the front too, for even more breathability.
Fit: Whether you’re on a jog or bike ride, you’ll be in motion, so you want a face mask with a snug fit. Face masks that tie on using elastic straps around the ear are great, but make sure you adjust the straps to keep the mask tight around the mouth. We’ve also found masks (or “gaiters”) that fit around your neck, letting you pull up the material over the mouth. There are also balaclava-style coverings that can be worn like a hood, with an extra section that covers your face as well.
Before you head out on your next run or ride, make sure you pick up one of these masks, to keep you and others safe, even if you’re breaking a sweat.
1. Adidas Unisex Face Covers
Adidas is well-known for its line of lightweight running shoes, and the athletic brand just released a collection of lightweight face masks as well. Super soft and breathable, the Adidas Face Cover is made with a flexible material that won’t constrict movement. Stretchy straps help the mask stay in place while two layers of fabric help keep dust and particles away from your mouth.
Part of Adidas’ “Primegreen” collection, this face covering is made with 93% recyclable polyester. It’s machine-washable and dryer-safe. This is sold as a three-pack, with various sizes available. Adidas says $2 from every pack sold will go to Save the Children’s Global Coronavirus Response Fund.
Adidas Face Covers (Three-Pack), $16, available at Adidas
2. Wolford Stay Safe Water-Repellant Face Mask
This double-layered mask is made from an ultra stretchy yet durable material that holds up to extended use. A water-repellant finish helps to repel sweat and keep your face stay dry even when caught in the rain. An aluminum nose wire and super stretchy bands help the mask stay in place. This mask is machine-washable. Unlike other masks, which are made from a thin and cheap material, this one is designed by a brand known for its leggings, meaning the same thick, comfortable design is used here.
Wolford Stay Safe Face Mask, $35, available at Zappos
3. Mission Cooling Face and Neck Gaiter
Run this highly-reviewed neck gaiter under cold water for a couple seconds, then wring it out and give it a good snap. The company says the material cools to 30 degrees below average body temperature, and stays cool for up to two hours, making it a great choice when running in the sun. The material also has a UPF 50 coating that can block up to 98% of UV rays, giving you an additional layer of protection when you’re outdoors.
This face covering is machine-washable. Slide it over your head and around your neck, then pull up to cover your mouth and nose.
Mission Cooling Face Gaiter, $19.88, available at Amazon
4. Brave New Look Geometric Cloth Mask (with PM2.5 Filter)
For extra peace of mind while working, we like using this protective mask from Brave New Look. Made from a lightweight, cozy material, the mask contains a PM2.5 filter to protect you from small particles and contaminants in the air (The “PM” refers to “particulate matter” while the 2.5 refers to the 2.5 micron measurement of particles that these filters are designed to capture).
Brave New Look Cloth Mask With Filter (Four-Pack, Black), $47.60, available at Brave New Look
Reusable and washable, these masks are available in a simple black design, or choose from dozens of bold colors and patterns. This set of four comes with four filters — one per mask. Slip the filters into a built-in pouch in the mask and breath normally. We recommend replacing the filter after one week of use (more replacement filters available here)
Brave New Look Cloth Mask With Filter (Four-Pack), $68, available at Brave New Look
5. PAGE ONE 12-in-1 Multifunctional Face Masks
This mask is made from a moisture-wicking material that dries quickly and won’t chaff. The microfiber blend is soft against the skin, stretchy and breathable, while still offering protection from the sun, dust, wind, sand and potential germs in the air.
PAGE ONE calls this a multifunctional design, noting that it works as a scarf, headband, wristband, bandana and more. Slide it over your neck, then pull up the sides to cover your mouth. Use the drawstring to tighten and adjust the fit as necessary. Rolled edges prevent the face mask from fraying. Choose from more than two dozen colors and prints.
PAGE ONE Multifunctional Face Mask, $17.99, available at Amazon
6. Buff Original Face Mask
Everyone from marathoners to contestants on Survivor have been known to wear head and face coverings from Buff. This one is made from a lightweight merino wool that not only wicks moisture, but helps to thermal regulate your temperature too. The material is also given a special antimicrobial treatment that helps it repel — rather than absorb — odors. No smelly face masks here. This face wrap is semi-fitted so it stays on even when you’re on the run.
Original Buff Face Covering, $29.95, available at Amazon
7. FOCO Face Coverings
Support your favorite team with a pack of three, reusable face masks, made from soft, breathable materials and stretchy elastic straps to help them stay put. Choose from designs across all the major sporting leagues.
These face masks are reusable and come with an interior pocket for a filter (filter not included). Prefer a more basic design? FOCO has dozens of solid colors and more neutral patterns available as well.
FOCO Face Coverings, $10+, available at FOCO
8. Champion Lay Flat Wicking Masks
Athletic brand, Champion, introduces a stylish camo-print face mask that’s made from a lightweight, moisture-wicking polyester and spandex mix. The poly-blend is machine-washable and keeps you cool, while the spandex lets you move and run freely without worrying about the mask falling off. As the name suggests, this mask sits more “flat” against the face, rather than bulging out, making for a more natural, comfortable fit.
Champion Lay Flat Wicking Masks, $12, available at Champion
9. Hanes Wicking Cotton Masks (Bulk Pack)
Stock up on these simple, cotton masks from Hanes — the brand known for their super-soft T-shirts is now making equally soft face masks for working out, with a moisture-wicking material that repels sweat as you move. The non-medical masks features three layers of breathable fabric, plus adjustable nosepiece and front panel pleats for extra coverage. The cotton straps loop comfortably around your ears.
This is the best deal on face masks for running, as this value-packed set gets you 50 unisex face masks for just $125 — that’s just $2.50 per mask. Hanes says the masks can be machine-washed and re-used up to 20 times without losing its shape or functionality.
Hanes Wicking Cotton Face Masks (50-pack), $125, available at Champion
10. Athleta Face Masks
One of the top picks from reviewers online for best face masks for running, activewear brand Athleta has released this five-pack of lightweight face masks, made from a stretchy polyester and spandex blend. The masks slide over your face using the elastic ear straps and are lined with airy cotton for breathability. Athleta has pledged to donate 100,000 non-medical masks to healthcare organizations in support of frontline workers.
Athleta Face Masks (five-pack), $30, available at Athleta
11. Columbia Trail Summit Balaclava II
Columbia is no stranger to outdoor gear, and we like this lightweight balaclava, which helps to cover your face and neck while you’re outside. It’s great for running in the rain (or more treacherous conditions). The tight-weave construction is made with 15 percent stretch for a flexible fit that moves with you. Columbia says its “Omni-Wick” technology pulls moisture away from your body to keep you dry, while its “Omni-Heat” thermal reflective layer helps regulate body heat, reflecting warmth back to your body. Tiny holes near the mouth allow for breathability.
Columbia Trail Summit Balaclava, $30, available at Zappos
12. Lookhuman Face Masks
They don’t have the same moisture-wicking properties as other masks on our list, but these hand-sewn cloth masks from Lookhuman are a great lightweight pick. The polyester mask offers full face coverage, with straps that tuck securely behind your ear to prevent the mask from shifting while you’re on the move. We like this gray ombre mask, but Lookhuman has more than three dozen other prints and patterns available here.
Lookhuman Face Mask Cover, $13.99, available at Lookhuman
13. iHeartRaves Seamless Face Mask
As the company name suggests, these printed mouth coverings were designed to keep dust and dirt out of your face at outdoor festivals and raves, but they’ve come in handy these days as great face masks for running. They’re made from a microfiber material that wicks moisture to keep you dry (the company says the mask dries fully in minutes). The seamless design means no loose threads to worry about, or rough edges to scratch your face.
The one-size-fits-all design fits easily over your head and stays put, even while you’re in motion. Choose from more than 20 patterns, from classic to more fashion-forward.
iHeartRaves Seamless Face Mask, $11.95, available at Amazon
The Advantages of Online Casino Welcome Bonuses
When it comes to online gambling, the industry is thriving in 2020. Although casinos are banned in many countries, people still find ways to enjoy their favorite games of chance. However, considering the level of competition on the market, it may be difficult for a beginner to find a good online platform and take advantage of all offers. In this article, you will learn the benefits of casinos’ welcome bonuses.
What Is a Sign-Up Bonus?
As we have already established, the industry is growing rapidly and companies are desperately looking for new ways to attract customers. A welcome bonus is often used by online casinos to get new leads and players in the future. However, the best casino bonuses can be easily used to the player’s advantage. Here are the main reasons you should not neglect this offer.
- It saves your money
Quite obvious, right? Well, this is the main reason why you should always use welcome bonuses in online gambling: it is always better to not risk your own money. It is especially true for beginners. Since they have no experience, it is fairly common for beginners to lose their initial investment and be done with gambling for good. However, if you use your welcome bonus as a way of getting the basics skills, the chances of success will rise significantly.
- It allows you to try several games
Another common issue beginners face is a lack of understanding of which types of games they want to try: slots, roulette, baccarat, blackjack, etc. If you use your sign-up bonus, you will be able to play several games and choose the ones you like better. Moreover, you can take advantage of a welcome bonus on several online gambling platforms. That way you will try out even more options.
- It will make future gambling more profitable
Besides beneficial sign-up bonuses, good online casinos usually have great loyalty programs. For instance, the company may double up to five first deposits on the platform. If you invest 100 USD, you will get 200 USD to your account. More money — more games — more chances of winning.
Although a welcome bonus is a great way of upping your gambling game, there are a few things you should pay attention to. Firstly, a good bonus does not equal a good platform. Before choosing a casino, make sure that the company is legal and trustworthy. Since there are many scams right now, it is essential if you want to save your money. Moreover, check the available deposit/withdrawal methods and their terms.
We hope that this article has shown the true power of online casinos’ welcome bonuses and how you can use them to your own advantage. Follow our tips while choosing a platform and enjoy the best gambling experience.
3 Key Mistakes to Avoid When Playing Blackjack
Blackjack is the most popular casino game in the world. The card game, sometimes referred to as ‘21’, accounts for an average of 31 percent of all casino table traffic – this is consistent both online and in physical casinos. For reference, the second most popular is roulette (24%) followed by poker (21%).
It’s easy to understand blackjack’s popularity. It’s a simple game to grasp and offers players a mix of luck and skill: luck in the cards that are drawn, skill over how those cards are dealt and a player’s eventual hand. Compare that to roulette, which is based entirely on luck, and poker, which has a huge skill element to it.
However, while the beauty of blackjack is in its simplicity, there are also a number of complexities to the game, and as is the case with almost anything in life, you learn more from mistakes than successes.
With that in mind, here are three key mistakes to avoid when playing blackjack that can significantly increase your chances of winning, while limiting your losses.
Choosing the Wrong Table
Before a single card is drawn, being at the wrong table – whether live or online – is the first mistake to avoid.
First of all, each blackjack table will have different minimum bet requirements so avoid choosing one that is out of your budget. For instance, if you choose a table with a $100 minimum bet and your budget is $200, you might only play two hands.
Secondly, check the payout odds on the blackjack table. These are typically 6:5 and 3:2 and will affect how much gets paid out when you hit blackjack and land other bonus wins. Where possible, choose a 3:2 table as it pays out higher.
Thirdly, choose between a virtual and a live table. This is not so much a mistake to avoid but more comes down to personal preference. Virtual tables allow players to play against an automated computer, so you can play at your own pace, while live tables are usually quicker paced as human dealers are keen to move the game along.
When to Hit and Stand
As a general rule, most blackjack players know to hit when the hand is 12 and to stand when the hand equals 17. However, there are plenty of variables to consider that could influence when to hit and stand. Getting these right can really boost your chances of beating the house, while getting it wrong could prove costly.
One key move to implement is to always hit on a soft 17 – when the two cards are an ace and a six. This means that if you draw a 10 or picture card (jack, queen, king), then you convert your hand into a hard 17. It also gives greater flexibility if you draw a smaller value card as the ace can be used as a one.
While many players adopt a strict ‘never bust’ policy, meaning they always stand when their hand equals 12 or more, this can be ill-advised as it depends almost entirely on the dealer going bust.
Instead, analyze the value of your two cards compared to the dealer’s first card and weigh up the risk factor in drawing another card before the dealer draws their second. As a strict rule, if your first two cards equal 17 or more, then stand – anything else can be hit depending on the situation.
When to Split and Double
If you are playing in a blackjack tournament, either online or live, learning when to split and double can make all the difference to your chances of success. The same also applies to individual games of blackjack.
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Splitting is when you split two cards when dealt the same value cards, so a pair of eights for example. Doubling is when you are given the option to double your bet after being dealt your initial two cards.
While it can be tempting to split and double at every opportunity to increase your winning, doing at the right time is the key.
It is not recommended to split when:
- You are dealt two picture cards or two 10s
- You are dealt two 9s
- You are dealt two 5s
- The dealer holds a 10 or picture card
It is best to split when:
- You are dealt two 8s
- You are dealt two aces
- The dealer holds a 5 or 6 (as this is the highest probability of a bust)
Similar to knowing when to hit and stand, take a brief moment to assess the dealer’s drawn card compared to your own two cards and determine whether the probabilities are in your favour.
Likewise, knowing when to double down – when not to double down – can change the complexities of your blackjack game. A simple rule to know when to double is if your two cards equal 10 and the dealer’s card is between 2-9. Additionally, if you hold an ace, you can consider a double as these have the flexibility of playing as 11 or 1. But if the dealer’s card is an ace, ignore the double.
Blackjack may be a simple game but there are some important strategies to keep in mind next time you head to the virtual or live table. The game itself is still rooted in luck so there are never any guarantees to long-term success. However, by keeping these three important rules in mind, you can at least avoid making avoidable mistakes.
Top 5 Entertainment Activities for College Students
The life of college students is sometimes too complicated. They have to face tons of homework assignments that steal their time. Many students get stressed because of continuous learning. They seem to forget how to relax. If you’re a busy student, you should remember that you’re still young and shouldn’t waste this precious life stage. You can undertake some entertainment activities sometimes. Take your friends and organize funny games to unwind and let off some pressure. We asked writing experts from a professional essay service Smart Writing Service to share their ideas and provide you with top-5 entertainment activities for college students you may like.
Who Are You?
Students, especially freshmen, don’t know each other perfectly. They may be taken by surprise when some of them tell something quite unexpected about their hobbies, preferences, and so on. If you want to know other students better, suggest playing a game called “Who Are You”.
Form at least three teams. If there are many folks, you can form more teams. Choose a speaker of the game. It may be even one of your teachers or professors. All groups will be given topics to discuss. The speaker is supposed to announce a new topic every few minutes. You may discuss and answer the following topics:
- What is the greatest challenge you are facing?
- What do you like or hate most about yourself?
- What is your greatest value in life?
- What emotions do you express easily?
- What is the most valuable thing in friendship?
- Who you want to become in five years?
- What is your major objective for next year?
- Is there something you want to improve about yourself?
- What motto do you try to live by?
- Where would you like to travel?
- If you were to study abroad, what country would that be?
Students should write their answers on index cards. The speaker should gather the answers of every student and shuffle them. Afterward, he/she redistributes them randomly to students. Each person should guess whose card he/she is holding. Play this game after you spend some time together and already know at least something about one another.
Another fun activity is “Sentence Completion.” Most people like it because it’s commonly accompanied by laughter and good mood. It’s necessary to prepare a list of sentences. Those sentences should have a beginning, but with no end. Every student should finish the sentence he/she gets. Oftentimes, students give funny answers. At times, they are quite serious, and we can learn something important about other students. Here are several sentence beginnings you may choose:
- Before I came to college, I was interested in…
- When I was a child, I wanted to become…
- The best moment I remember most about high school is…
- My favorite pet is…
- The things I value most are…
- Five years from now I hope to be…
- My greatest personality trait is…
- My favorite subject at high school was…
- If I could change one thing in the world, it would be…
- My greatest fear is…
- After I graduate from college, I…
The Reception Line
You may likewise try another entertaining activity for college students. It is called “The Reception Line.” Gather all the mates eager to participate. Divide yourselves into two groups. If you form more, it won’t fit the rules of the game. Each person talks to the person in front of him/her until he/she must move. The person at the end of one line goes to the end of the other line. This method makes it possible to meet new people. Thus, students will learn more about each other. You can make shifts every next topic or set a limit. For example, the pair should discuss 5 topics and afterward move to change partners. Here are some interesting topics to discuss:
- Where would you like to travel?
- What motto do you try to follow?
- What is your favorite movie?
- What music do you like?
- What is your favorite hobby?
- Why did you choose this college?
- What do you like about college life the most?
You can likewise suggest a game, which offers only two options. It’s called “Take Sides.” Create a list of questions with two answers. Students should obligatorily choose one of them. Afterward, you may discuss the answers. Let everyone explain his/her choices. Thus, you’ll learn more about each other, and it will bring you closer. Here are several suggestions:
- Watermelon or banana?
- Sweat or bitter?
- Short trips every weekend or a journey around the world for three months?
- Partying or hiking?
- Listen or speak?
- Rock or pop?
- Morning or night?
- Superman or Batman?
- Robocop or Terminator?
- Harry Potter or the Lord of the Rings?
- Los Angeles or New York?
- Liberal or conservative?
- American football or ice hockey?
My Most Embarrassing Moment
You can likewise tell each other about the most embarrassing moments. It’s important to be honest and don’t imagine a story that never took place. All the participants should agree on this term. Commonly, it is a very entertaining activity. Students tell funny stories they’ve been through. It commonly makes them closer.
These activities for college students are very simple to follow. They are really entertaining. Mind that we have mentioned only 5 of them. However, you can try a hundred activities more. Use our examples to have fun and relax. They may inspire you and your friends to look for other entertaining activities.