Chafing is the ultimate downside to summer workouts.
Working out, especially outdoors, can benefit the body in a number of ways. For one, it’s great to be outdoors for any reason during this international health pandemic. Working out is also great for your mental health, mood, weight-loss goals, and overall quality of life.
That being said, you also have to deal with chafing. Regardless of whether you are running, cycling, or doing random cardio, the constant rubbing of fabric can create raw, irritated patches on your skin that make it impossible to continue. This problem is especially bad during summer months, because we are sweating more, losing more fluids, and wearing loose clothes that are more likely to bunch up in places.
Here are a few ways to prevent summer chafing, so you can keep working out without worry.
Barrier protection. Before a lengthy exercise session, rub a light layer of Vaseline or talcum powder on the areas prone to chafing. There are also lubricating gels and balms specifically targeted towards this, if it is a major problem for you. That extra barrier will allow your skin to glide, instead of rub, reducing chafing.
Hydration. When you exercise, you lose fluids, which contributes to chafing. Drinking plenty of water reduces the amount of salt crystals that collect on your skin, which are a huge irritant. Staying hydrated will allow your body to keep sweating, reducing the salt on your skin.
Proper Clothing. The best thing to wear to prevent chafing is body-tight spandex or lycra. The synthetic blends keep moisture off your skin, and dry quickly, keeping your body a chafe-free zone. You might think loose cotton would be better, but it retains moisture and tends to stick to you, which can make chafing worse.
Workouts. If you are prone to chafing, your best bet is to switch your workouts often. You need to give any chafed areas time to heal, so focusing on different parts of the body is the best way to keep your workouts going strong.