I was reading the July issue of SELF last night when I came across a reader question that struck a familiar chord -- Every time I jog, why do I need to make a restroom stop? It's one of those things I've always wondered, but didn't necessarily want to ask my doc.
So, inspired by this bathroom-related Q, today we're tackling three of your most embarrassing body-related questions. If you've got Qs of your own, email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I'll try to answer them in an upcoming post.
For now -- this one is for all you girls with stinky feet.
Q: Every time I jog, I have to make a restroom stop. How can I take care of business before a run?
A: We asked our expert, Lisa Callahan, M.D., this question in our July issue. Her take: "Exercise can enhance activity in the colon, and intensive exercise like long-distance running may divert blood flow from the intestine causing irritation and poor absorption of fluid that leads to 'runner's diarrhea.' Luckily, there are ways to combat the problem. The colon is most active early in the day, so postpone a jog until after your morning bowel movement. Try to wait at least two hours after eating -- about how long it takes a meal to work through your system -- and experiment with cutting out caffeine, fatty foods and fiber-rich fruit and veggies before a workout. (They speed waste through the digestive tract.) Some people pop an over-the-counter anti-diarrheal medication pre-run (usually before a big race), but consult your doc first to ensure you don't have another issue such as irritable bowel syndrome."
Related: Look Divine From Behind with these tips and tricks!
Q: How can I stop my feet from stinking?
A: OK -- I have some experience here. In my family, certain members (including yours truly) have what we call "Everett" feet -- stinkers that can clear a room. It's a fate that's bestowed upon us by the ripe ol' age of two. The root of foot stank is sweat. Each of your "dogs" has hundreds of thousands of sweat glands. While sweat itself doesn't stink, it's a breeding ground for odor-emitting bacteria. So the more of a sweater you are, the more your feet are going to smell -- it's simple genetics. The best strategies for controlling odor are to eliminate as much bacteria from your feet as possible and keep feet dry. To limit bacteria, wear clean socks, wash your feet with antibacterial soap, and don't wear the same shoes every day (air shoes out -- especially leather or plastic pairs -- for at least 24 hours). To deal with the sweat factor, wear socks (cotton is better than wool) to absorb the moisture and avoid super-constrictive leather boots (especially if you're going on a date or job interview). Of course there are moisture-preventing foot sprays and powders, which work. But I can't stand the way they feel/smell. My fave trick: Buy an extra antiperspirant and use it on my feet!
Bonus: Beat the heat with one of these tasty No-Cook Meals tonight
Q: I brush my teeth twice a day, and I floss and rinse with mouthwash. So why does my breath still stink?
A: Believe it or not, mouthwash may be your problem. Saliva keeps stinky bacteria from accumulating in the mouth; swishing with alcohol-based mouthwash more than a few times a day can dry it up. Plus, the alcohol can slowly break down oral tissue and cause bad breath says Brett Askenas, D.D.S., a periodontist in Fresno, California. Instead, floss and brush (don't forget your tongue). If you must use mouthwash, opt for an alcohol-free rinse. And for a quick post-meal solution, pop a piece of sugarless gum, which will promote saliva production (to rinse away bacteria-causing food particles ASAP).
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- Find the best swimsuit for your body type now!
Photo Credit: Condé Nast Digital Studio