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Simply Fit, by Cindy Haskin-Popp, will help you make physical activity a part of everyday life. The health benefits of regular exercise and overall daily physical activity will be discussed. Fun, practical and easy-to-follow tips on an exercise program will be shared, as will the most current research. Fitness tips for families and seniors, on fitness centers and on buying proper and affordable equipment will be regularly given. 

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A Little Annoyance That Can Become A Big Problem

Have you experienced this? You are half-way into your workout. All is well up until this point. Your body feels good - both your cardiovascular system and your muscles are meeting the demands of the workload. Then it happens. Barely noticeable at first. It starts as a mild prickly sensation that soon gives way to an unbearable burning feeling. You are chafed.

Chafing is a skin irritation that is caused by friction which can occur when your skin is continually rubbed by your clothing, another body part, and exercise gear or equipment.

Typical signs/symptoms of chafing include:
  • Red/swollen skin
  • Bleeding
  • Burning, stinging, or raw sensation
Common areas susceptible to chafing during exercise include:
  • Underarms
  • Inner thighs
  • Groin area
  • Nipples
  • Under the breasts/around the bra line
Contributing factors:
  • Sweating - moist skin can yield higher friction forces than dry skin when rubbed
  • Loose fitting clothes
  • Ill-fitted exercise gear
  • Wear clothing that is snug, but not constricting and that wicks moisture away from your body. Garments made of synthetic materials, such as polypropylene, are best.
  • Choose articles of clothing that are seamless or have flat seams.
  • Lubrication. Although petroleum jelly is popular because it is relatively inexpensive, many sports lubricants are on the market that come in a variety of forms such as roll-ons, sticks, and sprays (e.g., Trislide, BodyGlide, etc.,). These products decrease friction and are applied to the affected areas before physical activity.
  • Keep your skin dry by using talcum powder or corn starch.
  • Stay hydrated. Dehydration can result in the formation of salt crystals on your skin, increasing friction.
  • Wash the affected areas with warm water and soap.
  • Apply an antibacterial ointment and cover with a sterile gauze pad and/or bandage.
Chafing can become more than a minor annoyance. It has the potential to alter your gait or technique during your exercise session. This can result in sub-optimal performance as well as increase your risk of musculoskeletal injuries if you are forced to perform movements to which your body is unaccustomed in order to alleviate the chafing discomfort. When it comes to chafing, prevention is best.

Time-to-Run - The World's On-line Running Information Magazine



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