Showering After a Workout: Is It Good or Bad?
When it comes to showering after a workout, the opinions are extremely polarizing. Some people head to their showers immediately, while others wait for a few minutes before getting themselves wet. And then there are those who completely avoid it. But have you wondered that something as basic as showers can have a large impact on your fitness?
Well, if you have not, then it is time to think about it now. We are going to evaluate the impact of showers after workout by taking a scientific approach. So, let’s find out about it.
The Time between Your Workout and Shower
An intense workout can leave you sweaty and greasy. Now, you may be tempted to take a shower immediately but you should wait out a bit. We recommend you to wait for at least 20 minutes after your workout before taking a shower.
This time duration is required for your body to cool down after your workout session. Consider it as the opposite of warm-up. In fact, there are various low intensity stretches that you should perform after working out as they would help your body muscles to enter the relaxing stage. They also help you in normalizing your body temperature and heart rate.
It should also be noted that different people sweat to different degrees. This is why an ideal way to assess whether your body is ready for showering after a workout session is to keep a note on when you stop sweating profusely. For some, it can be within 15 minutes, while for others, it can last up to 30 minutes.
Use this downtime to rehydrate your body by drinking water or non-sweetened fruit juice.
The Necessity of Showering After a Workout
Before we list out the benefits of showering after a workout, we must also tell you that it is very important to change into a fresh pair of clothing after working out. You should not wait more than 30 minutes to change into your new set of clothing after a shower. It is suggested to wash your workout clothes on a daily basis with an anti-bacterial and anti-fungal solution if you can.
With that being said, let us take a look at the benefits of showering after a workout.
Avoids Build-up of Bacteria
Workout makes you sweat and when you sweat, it is a perfect playground for various types of bacteria to thrive in. The most common regions where these bacteria are prevalent are your feet, groin and underarms.
Showering after a workout session helps in cleaning up your body and, in turn, killing those bacteria which otherwise would cause skin infections.
Prevents the Appearance of Acne
There is hardly a person on Earth who doesn’t have to worry about acne. People who are into fitness often notice acne appearing on their skin. A major reason behind it could be not taking proper showers after working out.
As we stated earlier, sweating results in the build-up of bacteria on your skin. These bacteria clog the pores of your skin, making it vulnerable to irritation and inflammation. This is why you need to make sure you cleanse your skin of all the dirt, sweat and other impurities that you pick up while working out.
Protects from Yeast Infection
Showering after a workout also helps in preventing harmful yeast infections. Most people wear tight clothes while exercising. This leads to various parts of your body being damp with sweat for a long period of time.
Changing into a new set of fresh clothes after working out is going to be of no use if you don’t clean out the sweat and dirt accumulated on the skin. And the only way to do so effectively is through a proper shower.
Boosts the Health of Your Skin
If you happen to be one of those who has a severe skin condition such as eczema, then it is all the more important for you to rinse your body after an intense workout session.
This is because the excess sweat can be a perfect breeding ground for microbes, which will exacerbate the condition even further. Therefore, head out to your washroom, use a herbal soap and work up a lather and take a relaxing shower.
Avoids Athlete’s Foot
As we previously mentioned, your feet are one of the moistest areas during a workout session. Sweat accumulates in that region making it susceptible to various microbes.
A major problem people face is that of an athlete’s foot, which a fungal disease. It causes immense itchiness and leaves you with a burning sensation. You would also see blisters appear on your skin. Thus, after you are done with your workout, immediately get out of your sweaty socks and shoes, cool down your body and then use an anti-fungal or herbal soap to take a shower.
Hot Shower v/s Cold Shower
Hot showers help in triggering a smooth flow of blood throughout your entire body. As a result, your skin glows and all types of muscles soreness are alleviated.
On the other hand, cold showers help in cooling your body down and in normalising your heart rate. Cold showers also help in inhibiting the build-up of lactic muscles which makes sure that you don’t feel any burning sensation or any muscle pain after working out.
Remember, you need to cool down right after working out by doing stretches and sitting down. Jumping into a cold shower to cool down your body is not the solution. It is a gradual transition.
As far as what type of shower should you take, here’s what you need to know. After waiting for around 20 minutes after your workout, start with a cold shower as it will help in lowering the inflammation of the joints, tendons, and muscles. After that, switch to a hot shower since it will improve joint and muscle recovery. Please keep in mind that the water shouldn’t be too hot or too cold as it will send shockwaves to your system.
Showering after a workout is extremely important since it helps in avoiding the accumulation of dirt and bacteria, thereby keeping you safe from various diseases. It also helps in relaxing and cooling down your body and in providing complete recovery of your muscles.
You should wait at least 20 minutes after your workout session before starting your shower. Start with a mild cold shower and then switch to a warm shower to get the best results. After that, don’t forget to rejuvenate yourself with the right type of food.