Last week’s blog post was all about how to dress when you exercise and the impact it can have on your workout. It also touched on the possibility of injury when dressing uncomfortably (remember short shorts and wide elastic bands causing my cousin to cease and desist during our outdoor softball workout). This week’s subject literally goes skin deep on how to treat or avoid another wardrobe-induced concern: chafing.
Chafing – that soreness and irritation caused by a combo of sweat and friction from clothes or skin, or as my stepbrother calls it, “chub rub” – is what some people have to deal with on an daily basis. Crank up the heat, though, and even those who never deal with it can be caught off guard. In addition to staying hydrated and wearing comfortable clothes to prevent it, there are some products out there that can help.
My cousin and I worked on the stationary bike this week, and we started chatting about the subject. She told me her what her secret weapon against chafing was: a popular brand of women’s prescription-strength antiperspirant. “It lasts all day,” she said, “Seriously, I keep it in my purse.” Genius, I thought. “I’m going to tell the world!” I told her. She found it provided a satiny finish on her skin that lasted twenty-four hours, which reminded me of the feeling that a certain chafing relief “powder-gel” had given me after walking around New Orleans for six or so hours. I came back to the hotel entering the room like Yosemite Sam. Instead of purchasing the usual powder, I saw this product and with its “powder-gel” claim, gave it a try, and it actually worked. I’ve read about another anti-chafing product that is a popular item among “stuff to pack” lists for cruise vacations and such. It’s more of a balm, and can be found online, at sporting good stores, and in major chain drugstores.
Of course there is baby powder, the old standby that millions of us use to prevent and treat chafing. As a former environmental field technician working in the Florida Everglades, it was recommended to me early on to opt with medicated baby powder over regular, so that’s what I can offer to diehard powder fans.
If you are open to new ways of protecting yourself, and probably abating chafing all together, there is new generation devoted to making your job, triathalon, fundraising 5K, or daylong walk through an amusement park or tourist spot a lot more pleasant. Say goodbye to the inevitable cowboy gait and say hello to pain-free slogging, strolling, hiking, and jumping!
In Good Health without the chub rub!
What are the ways that you prevent or treat chafing when you have a long workout?
Heidi Aspen Lauckhardt-Rhoades
Professional Fitness Instructor, ACE, AFFA, TRX, Indo, PIA, GROOVE
Dance and Creative Movement Productions
Writer and Social Media Correspondent
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