Sometimes you get home from a workout and simply must collapse into the couch. Other times, your workout is squeezed in between meetings or errands and the bathing just has to wait. Of course there are valid excuses for not showering immediately after a workout, but do you know what is at risk when you forego the suds? Turns out it’s a really important part of maintaining bodily health…
Why Showering Right After a Workout Matters
- Hygiene / odor elimination: The most obvious reason to shower after a good sweat session is so you don’t smell gross. When we sweat, our bodies excrete impurities and dead skin through pores and sweat glands. If we let that sit on our skin, bacteria and odor develop. Even if you think you don’t sweat much or that your body odor is not pungent, know that you experience your own odor differently than others. So be on the safe side and soap up!
- Prevents breakouts and skin infections: Damp clothes and skin are environments that germs love, allowing infections and breakouts to thrive. Even if you’re not acne prone, it is important to change and get clean because staying in sweaty clothes covered in the junk your body excreted for an extended period of time can lead to more than just a couple pimples. The bacteria, fungus and yeast that develop in moist conditions can create infections in southern body regions of our bodies that are a real pain to address. Another risk you take when letting sweat sit is clogging up your eccrine glands become blocked, which can lead to a rash of red bumps.
- Supports muscle recovery: Hot and cold showers have been shown to help increase blood flow to muscles and can help alleviate soreness. In an ideal world, you’d begin your shower with hot water and soap to kill bacteria, and end with a minute in very cold water to achieve some of the anti-inflammatory benefits of cryotherapy.
What to Do if You Really Don’t Have Time
We’re all human and things come up. If you are seriously unable to shower, try these hacks to get fresh:
- Use a wet cloth for a quick wipe down. Be sure to hit your armpits, groin and chest!
- Freshen face with cleanser wipes
- Change out of your sweaty clothes into dry ones, this includes socks!
- Towel off and dry shampoo your hair.
- Spritz yourself with rose water spray (nice and subtle).
Image by Andrea Posadas for HonestlyFIT