Underwear & Health
Along with exercise and healthy eating, another facet of your health regards what you wear – including your under-clothing. Following are some questions for women to consider about their underwear – including some exercise-specific advice:
- Of what fabric is your underwear composed?
You want to wear breathable fabric, which means you should be wearing cotton underwear. Lace, satin, etc., might be pretty, but these materials can trap in heat and moisture, which can make you more prone to infections.
- How often do you wear thongs?
While many of us don this smaller piece of under-clothing to avoid the dreaded VPL*, you probably do not want to wear thongs very often, and you definitely do not want to wear them while working out. Thongs can create extra friction while working out that can lead to discomfort outside of the gym, as well. In addition, thongs often move around more than full underwear, which can result in additional bacteria being deposited in the vaginal area. Finally, thongs may prolong infections.
- Do you need to wear underwear while working out?
In general, it is a good idea. Working out, if you are pushing yourself the way you generally want to, is going to result in a lot of sweat, and moisture in your underwear area is attractive to yeast and bacteria. An easy way to avoid this is to wear underwear. However, if your workout pants are made out of material that wicks the sweat away, then underwear is merely a matter of preference.
- Training for a long event?
Long events mean a lot of sweat and damp, so make sure to bring clean changes of underwear. Changing into a dry pair of underwear is recommended, if possible, between events, if participating in a triathlon-type event. Even if your event consists of a single activity, such as a marathon, bring a clean change of underwear and change after the event before going to get food or celebratory drinks, etc.
These are some common concerns to consider when evaluating the health benefits and detriments of your underwear. Any additional questions? Let us know in the comments below!
*Visible Panty Lines
Baby weightlifter – By User:Siva sathish (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons