Wrestling is a contact sport, which makes it especially easy to spread skin infections (such as ringworm, impetigo and staph) and other diseases. This
can essentially wipe out an entire wrestling team, preventing them from participating in important competitions. That's why it's so important for wrestlers, trainers and coaches to practice good hygiene.
Below are five hygiene tips for healthy wrestlers:
- Clean all wrestling mats before and after practice. You may have heard that cleaning wrestling mats only before practice is adequate to prevent the spread of skin infections, but cleaning the mats both before and after practice is a more reliable strategy. This also helps ensure that anyone else using the mats after you (other sports teams, for example) will also be safe.
- Shower after every practice, training session and competition. Of course, one of the best ways to prevent the spread of skin disease is to shower after practicing, training and competing. If you don't have to opportunity to shower immediately after practicing or competing, then be sure to do so as soon as you get home.
- Don't wear your wrestling shoes on the street. Many people don't realize it, but wearing your wrestling shoes on the street can transfer germs and diseases from outside to the wrestling mat. Wear different shoes on your way to and from practice and competitions, and always remember to wipe your shoes off with a wet towel and disinfectant before putting them on.
- Wash your wrestling uniform often. Too many wrestlers just throw their wrestling uniform into their locker after practice and then put it right back on again the next day. Not only does this make for some smelly singlets, but it also makes it easier to spread infection and disease. Wash your wrestling uniform frequently to help yourself – and your team – stay healthy.
- Know when to go to the doctor. Wrestlers, parents and coaches should all pay attention for signs of skin infection and other diseases. If you or anyone on your team shows any symptoms of a contagious medical condition, stay off the mat until consulting a doctor. Don't return to practice until you have a clean bill of health.
Good hygiene is key for wrestlers when it comes to staying healthy. By following the simple hygiene tips above, you can help ensure a healthy wrestling season for both yourself and your team.