An endurance sport like marathon running takes a physical and mental toll on a person’s body. However, it can also wreak havoc on hygiene. In conversation with The Bridge, Daniel Vaz, a Nike Run Club coach and expert panel member of Nivea Men spoke about the importance of workout hygiene for runners.
Daniel Vaz first began his running journey recreationally in 1995, a time where one of the most well known marathons across the country was the International Pune marathon. Having played football at a young age, he went on to participate in the marathon but only reached 21km, thus unable to qualify. However, it was at this point that he realised a newfound passion for distance running after which he started running and training himself, as internet access and training facilities were very limited.
However, since the Mumbai marathon first started in 2004, Daniel has been an avid participant to the point where they allowed him to have a number of his own. He further invested in this passion by getting certified by the American Council of Exercise (ACE) and the prestigious Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) from the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA). His dedication for running reaped rewards when he became head coach for Nike Run Club India in 2008. Nike held periodic sessions called ‘Ask the Coach’ where Daniel could answer questions from the running community which was still developing, and saw many newcomers on a daily basis.
Daniel has also completed over 44 full marathons held in India and internationally and also completed two ultramarathons, for which he was chosen to be part of Nivea Men’s expert panel. “Running enthusiasts who may be training for marathons have a weekend run that could last for 2 hours or more. At the completion of such an enduring training session, body odour is inevitable. Though many athletes don’t shy away from body odour as it is a product of exercise, it is important to practice good hygiene to get rid of body odour”, Daniel explains. He explained three ways on how one can maintain proper workout hygiene.
Pre-workout: Take a small shower before a workout. This will help in refreshing mood as well as feeling good before exercising.
Clean apparel: Wearing clean, fresh workout clothes that are made of breathable fabric plays an important part during enduring phases of a run.
Sanitizing: Due to the pandemic, many runners carry a small sanitizer with them that helps in hygiene and helps get rid of basic bacteria, after which most runners go for a post workout snack or shower.
Daniel has also completed over 44 full marathons held in India and internationally and also completed two ultramarathons, for which he was chosen to be part of Nivea Men’s expert panel.
Many hygiene products have an essential component named silver ion, popularly used in deodorants. “It is an antibacterial agent. It is made from a compound of silver, which then dissociates into ion, and they prevent bacteria from converting and, and feeding on it for energy”, Daniel said, explaining the science behind how many deodorants work. Though many athletes may not shy away from sweat, be it heavy lifters or endurance athletes, Daniel explained reason for maintaining good workout hygiene. “After completing your workout, you might mingle with people who haven't worked out with you. In such a case, body odor becomes a source of embarrassment that people may mind” he said.
Being a part of Nivea Men’s expert panel, Daniel explained the brand’s role in workout hygiene. “Nivea has roll-ons, deodorants, and shower gels which will become part of a runner’s hygiene kit in the long run. These deodorants and roll-ons are effective at diminishing odour and I have tested them first-hand. The anti-bacterial shower gels are essential as many runners prefer having a shower after their workout.”
Due to new runners joining the running community every day, and many people newer to adapting better hygiene for their workouts, Daniel gave some advice. “Athlete’s foot, ringworms and many skin conditions occur due to unhygienic practices during workouts. Every runner must pay attention to their pre and post run hygiene to avoid facing these conditions as they cause great discomfort for runners who wish to carry on with their workout routine. Maintaining hygiene, taking care of nutrition, hydration and training plan are the basics to becoming a better runner.”