There are plenty of reasons people skip out on a shower after their workout. They might not feel like they have the time, or it could just be that public shower rooms are a little intimidating, especially when you're sharing with the type of guy or girl who looks like they've never eaten a carb and train 24/7. Be that as it may, the benefits of showering after a tough workout are numerous, covering everything from your smell to your health to your recovery process.
Here are just three reasons to make sure you slip into your gym's shower room after the next time you work up a sweat.
1. It Can Soothe Your Muscles
Waking up after a tough training sessions with sore muscles – usually referred to as delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) – can be a real pain, especially when you're training for a specific event. Luckily, taking a quick shower can help. Running hot water over your body actually helps loosen your muscles, meaning they can release the waste products that were created as they burnt nutrients during your workout.
The truly brave can even opt for a cold shower. This will increase the blood flow to your muscles, aiding recovery – it's why professional athletes often take ice-baths.
2. Cleans Away Excess Sweat
Most of us sweat up a storm when we hit the gym; as they say, it's your fat's way of crying. However, that sweat can leave you smelling pretty funky throughout the rest of the day, so it's best to wash it away as soon as possible. It might not smell too bad at first, but sweat actually goes stale over time, and it will certainly smell then.
In fact, the smell might be the least of your problems. Sweat is salty, so it can leave a film of dried salt over your body if not washed away, and it allows bacteria to proliferate, often leading to broken-out skin.
3. Reduces Risk of Fungal Infections
Last but not least, leaving sweat on your body can radically increase your chances of developing a fungal infection. You might try towelling off instead of actually showering, but this is still likely to leave damp patches of sweat in the folds of your skin.
Conditions such as athletes foot, which may also spread to the palms and groin, often develop this way. Ladies need to be extra-careful since vaginal yeast infections can be brought on or exacerbated by increased moisture during exercise.
Ultimately, showering after your gym session will leave you feeling, smelling, and looking better, so make sure you don't opt out after your next workout.