Hygiene is the one most important thing in any type of physical activity. Be it your local fitness, dance studio, school gym or soccer field, there will be different people with different senses of cleanliness. But what do you do if someone in your vicinity lacks in hygiene? Or if you for some reason feel that you are unclean yourself? This article will talk about the most important procedures to help create a clean atmosphere for your sports environment.
What is a lack of hygiene?
There are inevitably different conceptions of hygiene, as everybody has different methods of treating their body. This also depends on social background and local standards, yet some generalizations can be made. Firstly, and most importantly, is smell. Smelling like sweat is definitely a form of lacking hygiene, caused by insufficient washing and/or changing of clothes. One person’s bad smell can often pervade a whole room, which makes the sports experience much less enjoyable. A second thing that can affect the environment is excessive sweating. Although this is much harder to control and much less a matter of actual hygiene, nobody finds pools of sweat desirable in the workout area. But… how do you control these two factors?
Easy Ways to Control Hygiene Problems
Firstly, washing your body is very important. Take a shower every day, whether you do sports or not. Generally, one shower is enough, yet if you sweat a lot or exercise for more than 3 hours, a post-exercise rinse won’t hurt. Use a gentle shampoo for hair and body, and make sure you apply body lotion afterwards, so that your skin doesn’t dry out.
The next step is deodorant. Don’t apply this after a workout – the smell of sweat mixed with deodorant is even worse than sweat alone! Use it after every shower you take, and you’ll be good to go for the day.
What people often forget is that a clean body in dirty clothes can still smell. Therefore, use separate training clothes, not your street wear, and change them (underwear included!) after a maximum of 4 hours of exercise, spread over 2 days max. Sweat only starts to smell when it’s old, so it’s important that you change clothes after 2 days, even if you only exercised for, say, 2 hours.
As for the excessive sweating, what you can do is use sweatbands around the arms and head, which will let you wipe away the perspiration and stop it from running down your face. It is also handy to have a towel to dry off on (which you must also change regularly!) if you know you’re going to do some intensive exercise.
What To Do if Someone Else Lacks in Hygiene
You may think, these tips are all easy to follow, but what if it’s not you who needs them, but someone else in your vicinity? There are several things you can do to raise someone else’s awareness. It might help to contact your coach, trainer, teacher or fitness instructor, who can either directly contact the person, or make hygiene information, such as leaflets or posters, available to the whole group. Another way is to strike up a general hygiene conversation while the person is around. Who knows, maybe their awareness will be raised, if they realize that everyone else has stricter cleanliness habits? In any case, the worst option for both you and them is to keep quiet: you’ll keep suffering, and they’ll keep wondering why people tend to avoid them!