The importance of showers: Was really keen to... - Couch to 5K

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The importance of showers


Was really keen to run tonight. I had missed a few days, had a bad day at work and it was a lovely evening to go out. However, our boiler packed up and the part to fix it won't come until tomorrow, so we had no hot water. Undaunted I set out and had a good run and left better for it. My husband bless him had boiled some water and heated some facecloths in the microwave so I managed to freshen up reasonably well. Not as nice as a proper shower but good enough and I might be trying a wipe down with warm cloths again before a shower.

It prompted me to share something I've been thinking about as the talk of the Olympics sometimes turns to what is needed to encourage people and especially young adults to keep fit. I do wonder how much not being able to have a shower after exercise means people stop trying so they don't get sweaty. I could see why teenagers girls and boys wouldn't want to sit in a classroom for the rest of the day.

I know there's a cost issue and it would mean allowing more time for sport but if we are serious about better facilities and getting more people off the couch maybe it's worth thinking about.

What do others think?

10 Replies

Its a very valid point. I remember as a child in school in my teens playing netball, it was a very hot sweaty 45 minutes. In those days kids didn't seem to worry quite the same about their street cred and appearance as they do now. At 13 and 14 most girls were still playing games and not in the least interested in fashion. I'm not sure if most schools have upgraded their shower facilities but PE, games etc times seemed to have been reduced instead of increased which is a huge shame in my opinion :(

Definately a good idea, but the showers should be separate cubicles with their own area to get dry in without having to be seen by others - communal showers were a definately a put off for me in school.

As to not having a shower at home - my tip from experience of living in a hot third world country for six years without running water but having a well instead:-

Get one bucket (5 litres) of warm water, a small bowl (cereal size), a face cloth, soap and a plastic beaker.

Splash carefully three or four beakers of water over the body to wet it

Place one cup of water in the small bowl to wet your face cloth and to soap it up.

Soap your wet body with the soap and face cloth.Do not place soap or face cloth in bucket of water or it will become all soapy.

Scoop out water with your plastic beaker from the bucket to rinse off soap your body.

Hey presto - one shower (or as we called it bucket bath) with 5 litres of water which when you are drawing it all out of a deep well is all you want to use!

Good luck with the running and plumber!

I still remember the communal showers with horror from school - games teacher was a little too interested! We were in, out and dried at sonic speed. Proper games lessons and time to shower should be part of the school day.

Nobody ever used the communal showers at my school (partially because they were disgusting, partially because they were communal). I think if they were in cubicles they'd get more use, but I think the real reason I never got into fitness when I was at school was because of the way it was taught -- Don't know about you but my school PE teachers always payed more attention to the kids that were good at sport in the first place and not on the kids that obviously needed a positive induction (such as myself). Sport lessons rapidly became about not being good enough and I don't think that's a good atmosphere for anyone, especially kids in their early teens.


I think that having shower facilities available would be a serious bonus for both children in school AND adults. I know that the occasional enlightened employer has a shower around the office building somewhere - they are usually the same employers that provide gyms in the first place - but most don't. Understanding that it is a career-limiting move to show up to work in sweaty lycra with soaked hair and smelling like gym socks has definitely kept a lot of busy adults I know from exercising before/on the way to work.

It's a shame, since encouraging people to bike/run/walk to work would also help with traffic problems.


Communal showers for kids going through big body changes and at a time when being the same as everyone else was a case of live or die, massive no on the sharing showers!

I had 2 gay pe teachers which did nothing to assure the girls they weren't perving, they were just checking we showered. No offence intended


Hadn't thought about the horror of communal showers and it sounds like another reason to put people off any strenuous activity.


Absolutely agree with all the above comments. Your husband sounds a gem to support you in such a practical way.

Just off to have my shower!


We had a small number of showers in our school but nobody used them since there were only around 4 cubicles, not nearly enough for everyone to have a shower. There also never seemed to be much time to get changed before our next class so it was just a quick spray of deodorant and off we went. I don't particularly remember caring that much or it being a problem but I was pretty tomboyish and wasn't caring about my hair being straight!

As for the workplace, I know its more common for employers to install a shower now but we don't have any at my work :( I still manage to get round it by using the showers at the local swimming pool or I get the bus into work and run home. I think there's always a way to incorporate exercise into your day if you make that extra effort.

At my school there were showers but I never saw them being used - partly because the PE teachers would wait until there was barely even enough time to change back into uniform before wrapping up the lesson! I had first-period PE two days a week in year ten... it was completely horrible having to sit in lessons after that.

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