There’s no denying that regular exercise can be tremendously beneficial to both the mind and body. However, strenuous workouts have also been known to facilitate less-than-pleasant smells. Between body odor, excessive sweat, and athlete’s foot, many of us emerge from our gym sessions smelling far from fresh. Fortunately, getting a great workout and smelling fresh doesn’t have to be mutually exclusive – especially if you’re equipped with the following pointers.
Take Prompt Post-Workout Showers
At the end of a rigorous workout, you’re liable to be covered in sweat and reeking of body odor. Unsurprisingly, the longer you take to address this, the worse you’re likely to smell. Furthermore, allowing large amounts of sweat to remain on your skin for long periods can pave the way for ringworm, jock itch, and other common fungal infections.
In the interest of smelling fresh and staving off the aforementioned infections, make sure to promptly shower after every workout session. Additionally, even if you’re not formally working out, you should make a point of showering after physically strenuous activities that facilitate sweating and body odor. Furthermore, once you’ve finished your post-workout shower, take care to dry yourself as thoroughly as possible, as this will help get rid of residual moisture, which will, in turn, help you avoid various fungal infections. To stay smelling fresh, apply a good deodorant after you’ve finished drying off.
Don’t Wear Sweaty Activewear for Long Periods
Good activewear can be comfortable, form-fitting, and conducive to easy movement. However, this doesn’t mean that you should continue wearing workout clothes that have soaked up a fair amount of your sweat for long periods. Even if you’re unable to shower immediately after working out, make sure to change out of the activewear you wore while exercising.
By extension, you should avoid re-wearing workout clothes that haven’t been washed. Even if you don’t do much sweating, wearing unwashed activewear is unsanitary, conducive to infections, and liable to make you smell extremely unpleasant. In addition to washing your workout clothes after each exercise session, consider investing in high-quality antimicrobial activewear.
Alternate Workout Shoes
Although few shoes smell pleasant, footwear that athletes work out in can smell downright foul. So, if you wear the same shoes to every workout session, it may be in your best interest to purchase a few more pairs. This will ensure that each pair has plenty of time to air out before being worn again. Not only does this decrease your chances of making another gym-goers gag from your pungent foot odor, it effectively reduces your risk of coming down with the athlete’s foot. If you’re not keen on the idea of purchasing multiple pairs of workout shoes, make a point of thoroughly cleaning and drying your shoes after each exercise session.
Use a Sweat Towel During Workouts
Keeping a good sweat towel on hand during workouts can help minimize sweat buildup and prevent your body from overheating. So, even if you’ve grown accustomed to sweating up a storm during exercise sessions, there’s no time like the present to procure a high-quality sweat towel.
In addition to a towel for wiping sweat off your body, you should have a second towel on hand to prevent yourself from sweating on gym equipment. Just remember that this towel should not be the same one with which you wipe yourself down. Additionally, since many gyms provide disinfectant wipes and/or other cleaning solutions, take care to clean off any equipment you’ve used before heading out. Not only will this prevent bad smells from being left behind, but it’s also generally considered a common courtesy among gym-goers.
As is the case with activewear, you should avoid reusing sweat towels that haven’t been washed. Furthermore, under no circumstances should you share towels with other gym-goers, as this can bring about staph infections, fungal infections and other undesirable consequences.
Few things are more satisfying than the completion of a rigorous workout. In the wake of a good exercise session, you’re likely to feel strong, confident, and ready for anything. The only downside is that you’re also likely to stink. While physical fitness is certainly beneficial to your health, the same generally can’t be said about its effect on body odor. Anyone looking to avoid the bad smells synonymous with a strenuous workout should consider the tips outlined above.