Working out 5 to 6 days a week opens a large window of opportunity for us to be sidelined with a host of aches, pains, and bodily annoyances that threaten to slow us down.
Thanks to sports medicine physician Jordan Metzl's The Athlete's Book of Home Remedies, we devout exercisers now have a bible of doctor-approved tips, tricks, and solutions at our fingertips, covering everything from the very serious (breaks and tears) to the bothersome (shin splints and sunburn).
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What starts off innocently as your skin rubbing on something else—be it more skin, your jogging shorts, or your sports bra—can quickly become more sinister. A little friction can make skin become inflamed and may even cause bleeding.
Try these strategies to deal with it:
Keep it clean: If your chafing is bad enough that the area's bleeding or on the verge of bleeding, clean it with hydrogen peroxide, then apply antibiotic ointment and cover it with sterile gauze and athletic tape or bandages.
Wear tights: Athletic tights and spandex cycling shorts stretch and cause no friction against the skin.
Roll on relief: Most sports stores carry sticks of roll-on lubricant that you can rub on before activities that may lead to raw skin.
2. Chapped Lips
Athletes training in dry, cold weather or intense sunshine can develop chapped lips. The skin on the lips is very thin, so there's nothing to protect them from the elements.
Stay hydrated:. You could be dehydrated. Make sure you're drinking enough fluids that your urine is clear or the color of light straw.
Mind your nutrition: Taking an omega-3 supplement (or eating more fatty fish like salmon) is a good idea because chapped lips can be caused by a lack of unsaturated fatty acids.
Buy the right balm: A waxy lip balm can cover your lips and help prevent chapping, but if they're already chapped, forget it. You need moisture. Petroleum jelly is very effective. Also look for lip balms that have only natural ingredients like olive oil, almond oil, beeswax, and shea butter.
And in a pinch...If you have nothing else handy, rub your finger alongside your nose, and then rub it on your lips. Your finger will pick up a little of the natural oil on your skin, which is the kind of oil the lips are looking for anyway.
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