January 2015: FAQ

By AFM Staff – January 1, 2015

How long is it acceptable to take a shower at the gym?  

A: Unless you train at a luxurious spa with jet-stream tubs and assistants on standby to feed you grapes while you bathe, most gym showers are utilitarian at best. So why you would want to spend an inordinate amount of time in one is beyond me. Get in, wash the essentials, and get out. This should take no more than 10 minutes max. 

Keeping your shower time short is especially important if there are a limited number of shower stalls and you're there at a busy time. Leave the manscaping and leg shaving for another time, if possible. And be courteous of others. Pick up what you used and don't leave a mess. This includes washcloths, towels, empty shampoo bottles, and even clumps of hair that may have gathered near the drain. I know…pleasant thought, eh? 

Speaking of pleasant thoughts, you may want to have flip flops or shower shoes with you to avoid possible foot infection. The fact that there is even a slight risk of exposing your skin to bacteria is another reason to keep your shower time short. 

My dog is potty trained, but sometimes I find poop in the house. Should I be worried? 

A: Well, you should definitely be worried if the poop isn't coming from your dog! However, let's assume it is your beloved Boscoe with the behavioral issues. In many cases “fecal freedom” is your dog's way of telling you something isn't right. 

Have you recently moved or changed their diet? Any changes to their normal surroundings and patterns can increase stress and cause behavioral changes in your otherwise perfect furry child. Other culprits may include side effects from new medication or some type of illness. Because it could potentially be serious, don't prolong a call or visit to the vet. (Take a look at the vets featured in our Best Of story.) 

Because our animals can't tell us they don't feel well, they have to show it to us. An unwelcome deposit on the floor is their form of communication. Aren't you glad humans don't converse like that? Although, that would be one sure fire way of getting our point across a little faster.

Sometimes I pee a little when I workout. 
Is this normal?

A: Well, while we're on the subject of incontinence—or, the loss of bladder control—we may as well address a fairly common issue among humans (particularly women): a little leakage. In the same way animals sometimes communicate with us by leaving an unwelcome deposit on the floor, our bodies sometimes send us embarrassing and somewhat annoying signals when something is awry. A 2012 study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that over 30 percent of women experience some leaking during physical exercise. A little leakage is especially common in women post-childbirth. According to researchers, the stress of repeated pounding during running or jumping gradually weakens your pelvic floor muscles—eventually compromising your ability to hold it in. 

While this side effect of physical activity is normal, it can put you at risk for an increased occurrence of urinary tract or yeast infections. To help avoid infection, change clothes as quickly as possible after finishing your workout and strengthen your pelvic floor muscles by doing kegels. (The best part of doing kegels—a muscle strengthening exercise—is that no one has to know you're doing it. You know those muscles that stop your pee mid-stream? Those are your pelvic floor muscles. Perform those contractions and build up to 3 sets of 10 repetitions a day.)


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