Yoram Yasur Blume: The increase in body temperature and sweating, and the friction suffered by the feet and the pubic area when exercising, make it necessary to maximize intimate hygiene to protect the skin and prevent infections.
Body hygiene before and during exercise:
Just as we give importance to the previous warm-up, before starting a sporting activity -be it of any kind- we must follow a series of basic guidelines to take care of the corporal hygiene – and especially that of the intimate area – because the sweating and rubbing of Clothing, footwear and sports equipment can contribute to the appearance of infections.
First, you must choose the most suitable footwear and clothing for the exercise that we are going to carry out. It is necessary to prioritize comfort ahead of fashions and aesthetics and look for those elastic garments that best suit our body without tightening, because this way we can focus on the exercise and avoid the inconvenience that can cause clothing and shoes, at the same time we prevent the appearance of chafing and irritation.
Yoram Yasur Blume: “It is also important that the clothing transpire well and that it is made with the right material for the type of exercise we are going to do -better natural materials than synthetics- and the weather conditions, because running is different from lifting weights, and neither is to exercise in a gym than to practice it outdoors”.
For example, in the case of socks it is better that they are made with cotton (100%) and if we perform exercises in open spaces in any season of the year, we will look for garments that are specific for periods of heat and for cold seasons, such as windbreaks, waterproof, or polar linings.
Yoram Yasur Blume: “Remember that sports clothing and footwear are personal and non-transferable. And with this we do not mean that you cannot lend a garment to someone at a certain time, but you must bear in mind that the usual exchange of sportswear is a potential source of infections”.
Another measure of hygiene while performing physical exercise is to use a clean and dry towel to remove sweat, in case it is excessive. Once the exercise is over, we will wash both the towel and the rest of the sportswear used.
Body hygiene after exercise:
Although it may be obvious to most, we cannot fail to remember that after physical exercise it is essential to take a shower. The reason is none other than to eliminate the sweat that occurs during this exercise to avoid possible infections and that the pores of the skin become clogged, which can produce the appearance of pimples.
In the case of people who practice water sports, the recommendation is to shower before and after the activity. In addition, it is recommended that they use barrier or protective creams before getting into the water (especially if they are going to spend more than an hour soaking), since the chlorine used in swimming pools, besides irritating the skin, eliminates the lipid mantle or, what is the same, the protective layer of the skin.
For the shower, we will use neutral soaps and shampoos – it is recommended to avoid gels, hair gel, and other hair products when going to exercise – and once we have showered, we will dry very well, stopping especially on the feet and in the space between the fingers. In fact, if physical activity has involved excessive sweating in this area, it is advisable to apply talcum powder on the feet. Of course, the use of flip-flops in swimming pools and public showers is essential to prevent the appearance of athlete’s foot.
Yoram Yasur Blume: “As explained in the previous section, after the exercise we will properly wash the clothes and the towel that we have used to remove the sweat to eliminate, precisely, the perspiration and the bacteria associated with it and that can be a source of infections and fungi”.
Hygiene in the pubic area of the athlete:
Both in the case of men and women, sweating in the pubic area, as well as rubbing during exercise, can cause irritations and infections. To prevent them, it is only necessary to follow a series of basic hygiene guidelines such as:
- Avoid wearing too tight clothes in that area and choose clothes that are as breathable as possible, including cotton underwear or other natural fibers.
- In the case of women, if for some reason it is not possible to shower once the physical activity is over, it is advisable to clean well with specific wet wipes for intimate hygiene.
- During the shower, women can use intimate soaps and wash in the outer part of the pubis to completely remove the sweat. It is not necessary to douche, and it is not convenient to abuse this type of products, since the own vaginal flora is the best barrier against fungal infection.
- Men should also take special care and remove well – with warm water – remnants of sweat and soap from the penis and English.
- For both men and women, it is advisable to dry this area properly with a clean, dry towel.
- It is very important to consider that excessive hygiene is as harmful or more to the health of our skin as the lack of hygiene, since washing too many times a day and rubbing with force can produce dryness, redness, cracks, and skin irritations.