How to Avoid Fungi When You’re Physically Active

A huge part of living a healthy lifestyle is staying physically active. However, being physically active also puts you at a higher risk of having fungal infections. Fungi like buni (ringworm), alipunga (athlete’s foot), and hadhad (jock itch) love moist, warm, and unventilated areas. This makes physically active people more prone to having fungal infections due to excessive sweating.

But don’t fret! You can still enjoy these physical activities as long as you are mindful of your surroundings and most especially your personal hygiene. So here are some ways to avoid these fungal infections:

Disinfect surfaces like gym equipment, gear, and mats. Given that fungal infections spread through direct contact, these commonly shared surfaces are breeding grounds for fungi. Which is why you should bring your own equipment, gears, and exercise/yoga mats if you could. Never share towels, as ringworm can be spread through it. But if not, you could always pack some disinfectant wipes and a bottle of alcohol or sanitizer inside your gym bag. Also make sure to regularly wash your mat and dry it before storing.

Place an additional layer of protection such as towels or wear long-sleeved athletic wear to help protect your skin from direct contact with the surfaces of workout benches, bicycle seats, and other equipment.

Don’t walk barefoot in public spaces like gym showers, locker rooms, saunas, and around swimming pools. It’s better to bring your own footwear than to walk barefoot or use the ones provided by the gyms. The footwear that the gyms allow you to borrow are also used by other gym goers which makes it easier for fungal infections like athlete’s foot to spread from one person to another given the direct contact.

Change into clean clothes, especially socks and underwear after taking a shower to rid of germs and bacteria from your sweat session. Never reuse sweaty underwear, as it can lead to jock itch. Always remember to dry your body, especially between your toes, armpits, and other skin folds. Wear cotton clothes and avoid using plastic or rubber footwear to let the air flow freely and let your body breathe. Air out your gym bag and shoes after every use because the sweat and moisture from used gym clothes put inside could cause fungal growth. Most importantly, launder your workout clothes afterwards and never share personal items like soaps, towels, and shoes.

However, if you still get a fungal infection even after these recommendations, you can use an Antifungal Cream Clotrimazole 1% (Canesten®). This can help treat your fungal infections and provide relief from symptoms. Always remember to finish the recommended duration of medication (3 to 4 weeks). Even if the symptoms go away and it seems like the infection is gone, continue using it to prevent recurrence.

You might also want to keep some Clotrimazole 1% (Canesten®) in stock at all times, as you never know when you might get a fungal infection.


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If symptoms persist, consult your doctor.
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