When my alarm went off this morning, it was dark and horrible. But I begrudgingly got up anyway. Just as I do every January, I’ve decided that this will be the year I hit the gym more. And so, along with many other well-intentioned humans, I stumbled into the gym in my winter coat, hat and mitts, struggled to take my giant winter boots off and stood in a puddle of snow and slush.
And yet, I was still not deterred.
“This will be the year I stick with this resolution,” I told myself. And I actually really do mean it.
The truth is, like most of us, I really do care a lot about my health—and I want to be fit. But I generally get put off by the cold and the wet and heading out of the house at an ungodly hour every morning.
Also, I’ll admit that I’m a wee bit of a germaphobe. Ever since I had kids—and realized what little Petri dishes they are—I’ve been slightly obsessed with keeping myself germ-free. So getting to the gym and realizing I forgot my shower shoes (which happens more often than it should) tends to bring out my inner Howard Hughes.
There have been far too many times that I’ve found myself walking around in the communal gym shower without shoes on because I’m so good at life that I forgot them at home. Two words: So. Gross.
And, because I’m a mom and have about a billion other things to worry about, the last thing I want to deal with is contracting something nasty and embarrassing like a toenail fungus.
It’s contagious, can be hard to get rid of, it’s SUPER embarrassing, and I just don’t have the time for that. Since it’s actually way more common than you would think, I did a little looking around to see how I can prevent it.
- Keep your feet clean and dry. Sort of hard in the winter, yes. But here’s an easy tip: Remove the liners from your shoes or boots and put them on a heating vent every time you come in from outside. Dry those suckers out really well to avoid trench foot, and toenail fungus likely won’t grow.
- Give yourself a pedi regularly. Keep your toenails clean and clipped short—all season long. And while your toes are mostly covered up by socks, let your nails go bare! Take off the nail polish since it prevents air from reaching the surface of your nails.
- Let your feet breathe. Walk around barefoot at home—but avoid it in public showers and pools. Toenail fungus infections are pretty contagious in places like those.
The good news? I discovered that if you do end up with an embarrassing bout of toenail fungus (because let’s face it, as parents we’ve all had to come face-to-face with gross and embarrassing things happening to our bodies), it’s really easily treatable with a prescription topical cream known as Jublia.
So now you can head to the gym, relatively worry-free.
But I still wouldn’t recommend leaving the shower shoes at home.
This article was in partnership with nailfungus.ca and developed with information obtained from the Toenail Fungus Information (TIP) program.