Thighs, nipples, armpits, sports bras, heart rate monitor. No, we’re not just throwing random words at you to draw your attention. We are talking about all the different parts of your body, and the different things that chafe you when you run. Chafing is caused by repeated motion – specifically, skin rubbing against loose fabric or other skin. Chafing most often occurs around the bra line for women, nipples, inner thighs, and under the arms. Moisture, either from sweat or rain, can worsen chafing. If you’ve ever been on a long run on a hot day, you will know exactly what we’re talking about. The skin is rubbed raw and sometimes it can get even worse than that. Extreme chafing can be severely painful, and it’s something every runner needs to consider before lacing up and taking off. You do not want to be mid-run and in agony.

We provide you with simple methods to take care of chafing so that your run stays smooth and you stay out of pain.

Thighs
First check and see if the shorts you’re wearing and comfortable and loose. Tight shorts, especially near the groin area can cause chafing. If your shorts aren’t the culprit, then apply a mild lubricant on your thighs before the run. That should take care if the rubbing.

Nipples
Who would have thought that their nipples would be the cause of so much concern when running? Without safeguards in place, several miles of running can cause nipples to react very adversely to sweat soaked t-shirts, rubbing them raw and in some cases making them bleed. Those photographs you might have seen of runners with apparent bleeding hearts are prime examples of this. The simple solution to this nightmarish problem is nipple guards or band-aids. You could wear a soft fabric top for running, but it never hurts to have extra protection.

Armpits
Simple – wear a vest/wifebeater instead of a t-shirt. If you are wearing a t-shirt, make sure it is loose and made of cotton. Do not shave your armpit just before the run, and for added measure, use a mild lubricant.

Sides
Wear your sports bras inside out! All the exposed seams will face outwards and you will only have smooth material touching your body. It’s the seams that cause a lot of trouble and chafing. Again, for added measure, there’s always the option of lubricant.

Choose a sports bra according to your activity level
Wear your sports bra inside out

Wrists or arm
When it comes to measuring your heart rate while running the trick lies in getting a heart rate monitor without the strap. Because it’s the strap that causes the chafing. A lot of smartwatches these days are incorporating heart rate monitors so those could be a good alternative. Another option is to go for a standalone fitness band that includes a heart rate monitor. These usually have a soft rubber band that doesn’t not contribute to chafing.

We hope these tips help you in staying out of pain and running chafe free!

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