by Vhilena Folger
Staying Healthy on the Mats
If you drive around most towns across the United States you’ll begin to notice more Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu gyms. The UFC has definitely helped to popularize the sport that is considered to be one of the most practical martial arts. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is extremely effective for anyone who desires greater self-development, better health, and realistic self-defense training. BJJ is an amazing sport which will help keep you healthy by increasing flexibility, strength, endurance, cardio and burning more calories than most traditional workouts.
With that being said, there are a few things when participating in a sport like Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu which need to be considered. Even if the gym owners are very thorough when it comes to the cleanliness of the gym and its equipment, gym mats are a breeding ground for fungus and bacteria. BJJ is a sport which requires its participants to be barefoot making them more susceptible to infections like athlete’s foot, ringworm on the scalp and body, plantar warts, staph infections, jock itch and more.
The Nasty Bunch
Athlete’s foot show up generally between the toes. It will be red, irritated, often splitting the skin and be very painful. Athlete’s foot can happen if your feet get very sweaty while in tight-fitting shoes. Damp, humid conditions help fungus grow. Plantar warts can be contracted the same way you pick up athlete’s foot by walking around barefoot in a shower, gym mats, or gym common areas. Plantar warts are caused by a virus and can enter your system from tiny cuts or sores on your feet. A plantar wart has the appearance of a callus. The difference is a plantar wart will have black dots in them and can be painful. This is why it is especially important to wear flip-flops or to keep your feet covered when walking around in a bathroom, shower, or common areas at the gym.
Another common fungus which is easily picked up at a gym is ringworm of the scalp and body. It is also known as tinea corporis, which is a fungus regularly contracted from gym equipment and mats that have not been sanitized and wiped down. It presents itself as a round, pink, scaly plaque which is usually itchy. Staphylococcus aureus (staph infection) is one of the most common microbe pathogens found at the gym. Many people carry this bacteria on their skin, and 1 out of 3 carry it in their nose. In general it is not harmful, but it can cause skin infections and be fatal if it enters the bloodstream through a cut or sore on the skin. A staph infection may show up as a red, painful, swollen boil or abscess on the skin.
While this is not intended to scare or deter participants from sports like Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, it is intended to inform and educate. It is incredibly important to ensure your safety and health by protecting yourself. The cleanliness of the gym and its equipment is instrumental to keeping its members at a lower risk to contracting fungus and bacterial infections. It is the gym owner’s responsibility to do a detailed cleaning of the mats, equipment, shower, and common areas for their gym members to avoid spreading and contracting diseases. However, some of the responsibility lies on the gym’s members.
It is the responsibility of the gym members to be considerate and thoughtful of their teammates. If you have contracted a fungus or bacterial infection it is important to avoid spreading it to others. Most fungus infections and some bacterial infections can be treated with over the counter topical creams. Be sure the infection has completely cleared up before returning to the mats or using common areas that could expose others.
Another way to protect yourself and others is disinfecting your gym gear and washing your gi immediately after practice. Bacteria live on the skin and are then transferred to clothing when we begin to sweat. Many times when we sweat our clothing becomes damp as well making it a breeding ground for more bacterias and fungus to grow. Not to mention allowing your gi to sit after training will cause the gi to smell and be very unpleasant for others to tolerate. Not washing your gi before or in between practices is leaving yourself and others susceptible to contracting infections as well.
One of the most important things you can do to protect yourself is to immediately shower after a workout. It should be the first thing you do when you get home before you do anything else. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a close contact sport where participants are physically touching almost the entire time. Which means other people’s sweaty bodies are regularly touching one another.
Tea Tree benefits
A great way to avoid fungus and bacteria infections is by using Tea Tree products. Not only it’s minty aroma is extremely refreshing, Tea Tree is a natural hand sanitizer and anti-fungal product. It also is an insect repellent, natural deodorant, antiseptic for minor cuts and scrapes. Tea Tree has proven to be effective in boosting wound healing, fighting acne, getting rid of nail fungus, and lastly a chemical-free mouthwash. Tea Tree can be found on most salon shelves, local pharmacies, Walmart, Target, and even grocery stores. Tea Tree is an easy and cost effective way to help keep you and others safe from harmful infections. When we all do our part to keep the gym, ourselves, and teammates safe it allows us all to stay healthy and continue to train.
Tea Tree Products
A great way to avoid fungus and bacteria infections is by using Tea Tree products. Not only it’s minty aroma is extremely refreshing, Tea Tree is a natural hand sanitizer and anti-fungal product. It also is an insect repellent, natural deodorant, antiseptic for minor cuts and scrapes.
Tea Tree has proven to be effective in boosting wound healing, fighting acne, getting rid of nail fungus, and lastly a chemical-free mouthwash. Tea Tree can be found on most salon shelves, local pharmacies, Walmart, Target, and even grocery stores. Tea Tree is an easy and cost effective way to help keep you and others safe from harmful infections. When we all do our part to keep the gym, ourselves, and teammates safe it allows us all to stay healthy and continue to train.
Tea Tree Products on Amazon
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