7 GROSS WORK OUT HABITS THAT WRECK YOUR SKIN
Slacking on hygiene when you’re getting sweaty could land you gnarly toenails and unsightly infections. Shield your skin by following these expert tips.
1. You don’t wipe off the equipment before using it
The staff at your gym disinfects equipment regularly, but research suggests that might not be enough.
Fix it: Even if your health club’s got a dedicated cleaning crew, use the antibacterial spray available at your gym to wipe down the workout tools you’ll be touching. If you’re exercising on weight machines, wear shorts that are long enough to cover your thighs and minimize skin-equipment contact.
2. You hang out in sweaty clothes too long
Sitting around in sweaty gear makes your skin susceptible to tinea versicolor, a type of yeast infection that causes dark brown discoloration on your back, chest, neck, arms, and trunk.
Fix it: “The sooner you shower and change out of your workout clothes, the better,” says Jeffrey Dover, MD, a dermatologist at SkinCare Physicians in Chestnut Hill, MA. If you experience tinea versicolor, a selenium sulfide shampoo or lotion (available at drugstores) will help clear it up.
3. The razor in your gym bag is old
Be honest: When’s the last time you switched out the razor in your gym bag? If it’s old, the blade you’re dragging across your body could be contaminated with bacteria and fungus. If the razor is dull, it pulls at (rather than cuts) the hairs. This causes razor burn and inflames hair follicles, leading to red, pimple-like bumps—pretty much the opposite of the clean-shaven look you were going for.
Fix it: Change your gym-bag razor as often as you would your at-home version. After you shave, let it air-dry instead of stuffing it back in your bag alongside your sweaty clothes.
4. You walk around the locker room barefoot
You’ve probably experienced the itching, burning, between-the-toes type of athlete’s foot at one point or another. But since the infection takes several forms, there are a few symptoms that you may not be familiar with, like a red, scaly infection on the sole and side of the foot or blisters on the bottom of the foot. Also remember that when your feet are wet, you’re more susceptible to unattractive toenail fungus, which left untreated can spread across toes.
Fix it: Wear shower shoes around the locker room and on wet surfaces, like the pool deck. Change out of sweaty socks ASAP and thoroughly dry your feet (including in between the toes) after you shower.
5. Your shower is too hot
If you’re showering too frequently (yes, it’s possible), using water that’s too hot or using too strong of a cleanser—that means most deodorant soaps—you’re probably drying out your skin. Swimming in a chlorinated pool might also explain why your skin is flakier lately.
Fix it: Take shorter showers with medium-temperature water and apply lotion to your entire body afterward.
6. You count your swim as your shower
Swimming offers a great total-body workout, but training in a chlorinated pool or open water could wreak havoc on your skin. Thanks to irritating pool chemicals, swimmers have a higher likelihood of developing eczema (inflamed, red, and itchy patches) anywhere on their bodies. Doing open water swims in rivers and oceans can also put you at risk for swimmer’s itch, a skin rash caused by an allergic reaction to microscopic parasites.
Fix it: Shower immediately after a pool workout to wash away chlorine. If you’re swimming in open water, wearing a wetsuit is your best defense against harmful bacteria. Always change out of a wet swimsuit as soon as possible.
7. You play dirty
Sliding into home during your company softball game makes for a great play—but it’ll likely beat up your skin, too. Those minor cuts might not seem like a big deal, but they’re still open wounds that could harbor dirt, sweat, and bacteria. When skin is lacerated, diving in the dirt, sharing equipment, and sweating in restrictive clothing can lead to bacterial and fungal infections.
Fix it: Avoid sharing equipment, or wear a hat under a shared helmet and keep your batting gloves on whenever possible. Clean scrapes with an antiseptic cleanser and watch for infection in the days that follow. Wear clothing that breathes and change out of sweaty clothes as soon as possible, even if it’s in the bathroom at the post-game bar celebration.
5 Reasons you don’t work out (and 5 easy fixes)
You’re tired. You’re busy. You’re watching the kids. You’re on the road, and unfamiliar with the area. We hear you, and we know what you’re thinking: Skipping just one workout can’t hurt, can it? Unfortunately, it can: Missing even a single workout can initiate a downward spiral, increasing the likelihood that you’ll skip another one by 61 percent, according to British researchers.
So what’s a successful, time-crunched, modern day road-warrior like yourself to do? Exercise anyway.
1. Excuse: You’re too tired at the end of the day.
The Fix: First, fuel up smarter in the afternoon. Swap out your high-carb, energy-spiking granola bar or yogurt snack for an energy-sustaining protein shake, or a handful of nuts or sesame seeds. Next, enlist some social support. Exercising with a new workout partner can make it easier to stick a workout schedule.
2. Excuse: You don’t have an hour to work out. Ever.
The Fix: Who says your workout has to take an hour—or even 30 minutes? Less than 10 minutes of high intensity interval training (HIIT) performed within a workout lasting less than 30 minutes can improve aerobic capacity and exercise tolerance (i.e., stamina) in just a few weeks.
3. Excuse: The workout seems too hard.
The Fix: Now’s the time to listen to your body. You should feel energized after your workout, not defeated. Dial back the difficulty on your current workout by lowering the weight, reducing reps, or increasing the rest between sets. Many exercises can also be modified (e.g., elevating your hands on a box during pushup, or doing a quarter squat instead of a full squat), allowing you to work the same muscles without compromising your form.
4. Excuse: You don’t know the area.
The Fix: If you’re on the road in an unfamiliar city and want to break free of the gym, see if your hotel has an in-house fitness concierge.
5. Excuse: You can’t exercise and watch your kids at the same time.
The Fix: If your kids are young enough to require constant supervision (and you have a supportive spouse), you’ll likely need to transition to AM workouts while the little ones are asleep. Older kids might allow you to carve out some exercise time in another room, but you’ll still need to be home.
- ¾ cup egg whites, Liquid
- ¼ oz cheese, cheddar low-fat
- 2 medium tomatoes
- ¼ cup onion
- 1 ¾ tsp oil, high oleic safflower
- ¼ tsp salt, lite
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- ¼ tsp chili powder
- ¼ cup grapes
- 1 slice bread (rye, pumpernickel,
100% whole grain, flour-less)
• Set bread and grapes aside.
• Chop vegetables, sauté in oiled skillet.
• Add egg whites and desired spices to skillet, cook over low to
• Add cheese
• Serve with bread & grapes on the side.
Per serving: 306 calories, 23g protein, 10g total fat, 31g carbohydrates.
Source: Healthy Transformations Recipes