Hygiene is an integral part of an athlete’s routine. The sweat that is secreted during a workout or a run can over time give way to many fungal or bacterial infections. Whether it is the feet, hair or underarms, an athlete must be serious about their personal hygiene. Not maintaining proper hygiene can cause a lot of discomfort and actually limit an athlete’s ability to perform.
Here are a few ways athletes can maintain proper hygiene:
1)Wash your hands
The fastest way to stop germs from spreading is to wash your hands immediately after a workout. This is especially important for people using a public gym. Gym equipment is usually used by a lot of people and isn’t cleaned as often as you may expect. So stay on the safer side and wash your hands at the first opportunity you get. Alternatively, carry a hand sanitizer to make it convenient.
2) Take a shower
Never skip or delay a shower after a workout! This only gives germs the opportunity to grow and possibly worsen. Use antibacterial or antifungal soaps and focus on the body’s joints like the underarms or the back knee, and feet. Don’t forget to take care of your hair and keep your scalp healthy.
3) Keep happy clean Feet
Nails on the feet and toes make it especially convenient for germs to settle in and possibly infect the foot! Get a pedicure or just soak them in hot disinfected water for 15 minutes biweekly to thoroughly clean your feet. Always wear clean, fresh socks and keep your shoes out in the sun after every use. This also prevents it from forming a foul odor. keep your feet as clean and dry as possible throughout the day.
4) Clean nails
Nails can be a repository of germs if not kept clean. The easiest way to keep the nails on the finger and toes clean is to cut them short and keep them that way.
5) Be picky with undergarments
Wearing the wrong kind of undergarments can seriously hamper an athletes training. It can be extremely uncomfortable causing an uncontrollable itch, rash or worse – an infection! Cotton undergarments should always be an athletes first choice as it absorbs sweat easily. Coolmax or modal fabrics are also great choices for comfortable materials.
6) Give attention to cuts and wounds
Cuts and wounds are like open windows for germs to enter, especially for athletes. Every cut or wound must be dressed or disinfected well and depending on how deep it is must be cleaned at least twice a day. Wounds must be covered well during a workout and left open the rest of the time, giving it time to heal.
7) Never reuse old workout clothes
It goes without saying that old gym clothes basically cultivate germs and must be washed at the first opportunity you get.
8) Carry a towel
Avoid touching your face as much as possible during a workout. Sweat and workout equipment usually harbor a lot of germs that get transferred very easily. During an intense workout, use a small hand towel to wipe the sweat from your face rather than using your hands or forearms.
9) Clean your equipment
It usually is difficult to know exactly how clean or dirty the equipment at the gym usually is. In such cases, it is best to take measures to disinfect yourself after using it. However basic materials you use, like a kettlebell, yoga mat, dumbbells and yoga ball that are usually personal equipment, must be maintained well. The best way to do this is to keep them out in the sun after every use and give them a good wash at least once a week.
It’s always best to not compromise when it comes to basic skincare. The following are some skincare tips athletes can follow
- Never skip out on sunscreen if you’re exercising outdoors
- Pick antibacterial or antifungal soaps over fragrant mild soaps
- Use a face wash best suited for your skin, and use it every day
- Exfoliate 2 – 3 times a week to get rid of old dead cells that can cause an itch
Personal Hygiene is extremely important in an athlete’s life. A lack of it can actually cause a lot of discomfort and prevent an athlete from reaching their potential. While one needs to be committed to it, maintaining personal hygiene is not as difficult as it may seem.