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AUTHOR - Chris K

Can I workout or go for a run with a UTI?

Can I workout or go for a run with a UTI?

It’s the big marathon this weekend! The TCS London Marathon falls on the 21st April 2024, let’s hope we finally get some spring weather!


If you’ve been training hard for this marathon season you may be feeling that annoying, often painful chafe down below already. The question we have around the office is first of all, “wow, how do they do it?” but also “what if a runner has a UTI?” 🤔


It’s a good question and one that raises other questions about the relationship between sports and UTIs and how/if working out exacerbates or helps with bacterial infections in the intimate area. Is there a negative impact on the intimate microbiome?


Does working out cause UTIs?

While working out doesn’t directly cause UTIs, there are certain factors associated with these activities that may increase the risk of an infection. These can be


  • What you wear plays a role. Tight gym wear can cause repetitive rubbing against the intimate area. Not only does this cause irritation but can make the area prone to infection.
  • Wet clothing caused by sweat. That was a good workout but warm, moist (yes we said the M word) conditions are a perfect breeding ground for pathogens that can cause infections.
  • Dehydration – the constant culprit. We often hear this and dehydration during an intense workout is common which can lead to increased sweating and fluid loss. This can cause your urine to become concentrated which helps bacteria to multiply.
  • Holding it in. Holding your pee for long periods of time such as during a long sporting event or a long workout can allow bacteria to multiply in the bladder leading to infection.
  • Weakened pelvic floor muscles caused by high-impact sports can lead to lower control over the bladder and an increased risk of UTIs. This can be a result of not wearing well cushioned footwear when running causing your body (and perlvic floor) to take on the impact.


Can I still run with a UTI?

That’s down to personal judgement. You may find up and down motion uncomfortable if there is increased pressure on the bladder. If you can handle running it may actually help to focus on something else for a bit, but we suggest peeing before you begin your run and keeping close to a bathroom just in case, probably not possible during a marathon though. During infection the body is under stress and it’s wise to not create unnecessary extra stress, listen to your body and do what’s right for you.


Should I still go to the gym if I have a UTI?

If you’re feeling up to it, going to the gym is great for your physical and mental health. If you’re a UTI sufferer this can have a negative impact on your mental health and going to the gym may give you a little boost. If you are heading to the gym the below are some useful tips on how to remain comfortable and avoid flare ups:


  • Hydrate often before, during and after your workout 💧.
  • Wear breathable clothing and avoid anything too tight. Your gym fit should be comfortable and not too tight in the wrong areas (if you know what we mean🐪).
  • Change into something dry as soon as possible. Don’t let that bacteria get too comfy!
  • We know that gym showers can be grimy but if you have access to a clean shower take one soon after your workout to wash away any bacteria and sweat.
  • Going for a long workout? Don’t hold your pee for the whole session. Head to the bathroom before that next set 🏋🏻. It’ll help you get the most out of your workout and help to avoid infection.
  • Pelvic floor exercises, Kegel exercises, Pilates or yoga can help. Not only is yoga a great way to relax but some of the exercises can help improve your bladder control🧘‍♀️. You can also get a pelvic floor or Kegel trainer online such as the Elvie Trainer (no affiliation).


We want to hear about your experience. Do you workout often and have questions about managing your intimate health through training? Let us know at


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