Olympic Year: - The Perils of Exercise

>> Tuesday, 17 January 2012


Have you looked out of your window and seen your neighbour jogging down the street for their annual post New Year bout of exercise?

2012 is an Olympic Year so sport is probably more in the mind than in many years and all the designer clothes companies will be cashing in on it. However, it has always surprised me that athletes of all stature wear the most technically sophisticated clothing and equipment on the planet, and at the end of the day sleep on bed linens just like their mothers and grandmothers used.

Rapid recovery from vigorous activities is critical in maintaining an athlete’s peak performance. There’s no question that even the amateur sportsman or woman pushes their bodies to the limit so why do they not make good use of those 6 to 8 hours at night, while asleep in bed, to enhance rest and recovery?


Similarly athletes also suffer from more skin problems as a result of their respective sports. As is often seen in football, non-porous equipment worn next to the skin can cause irritations such as acne, when the wearer is hot and sweaty. Skin irritations increase the risk of infections that come from any type of contact sport, such as rugby or football. Atopic dermatitis is a condition aggravated by athletic activity, whether it’s a dry or wet sport. This is common in winter sports and for swimmers, where chlorine dries out the skin. Dry skin is not a good barrier to fluids or to infections such as ringworm and other skin infections.

The combination of sweat and heat makes the body a perfect home for fungal infections. Sports most commonly affected are running, bicycling, swimming and tennis. Fungal infections of the feet, called tinea pedis, are found among athletes who spend a lot of time sweating in shoes. Intertrigo is a yeast infection that results from irritation of the groin often caused by bicycling. Athletes who come in close contact with other athletes e.g. rugby players may also spread fungi like tinea corporis gladiatorum. Sounds a bit gruesome, don’t you think? It’s enough to put you off your game.

Think about it. Sports participants need bedding which can handle excess perspiration that accompanies raised metabolism, as well as provide a clean support surface where damaged skin can heal. It struck me that you don’t have to be an Olympic athlete to suffer from these conditions. Anyone at the local football club or gym is at risk.

Dermatologists recommend that athletes regularly clean their clothing to minimize skin outbreaks. They also tell you to wash and dry your practice clothing on a daily basis. However, dermatologists usually offer no guidance about the bedding you should use – even though athletes spend 6 to 8 hours in direct contact with their bed sheets each night. Therapeutic bedding can improve sleep, rest and recovery of the body, reduce atopic dermatitis and eczema, and provide a cleaner sleep surface. This was confirmed in a recent clinical trial that demonstrated that DermaTherapy bedding, the most technically advanced therapeutic sheets and pillowcases, improved sleep by up to 60% in athletes undergoing strenuous activity.

The pain of sports is inevitable … however, the suffering is optional.

For more information www.dermatherapybedding.co.uk

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