With summer comes sweat, and while it’s not the most pleasant part of fitness, it is a necessary one. As a Floridian woman in her 40s, I am MORE than familiar with the “sparkle” that comes with running and other forms of physical activity. Today, let’s talk about sweat, and clear up any misconceptions!
Sweat is normal.
Let’s just go ahead and normalize sweatiness. It’s a good thing. A healthy thing. Pretty much everyone sweats, or perspires at some point or other. Sweating is what helps regulate our body temperature: when we overheat, glands excrete sweat from your body. The water in that perspiration evaporates, which helps cool you down. Is it the most pleasant process? Absolutely not. Sweat has a very important function and purpose, and should be tolerated as such.
Sweat does not always equal body odor.
Interestingly, sweat itself usually doesn’t have a smell. Body odor comes from perspiration interacting with bacteria on the skin. Runners are typically a sweaty group, but I don’t usually notice less pleasant smells until after a race or workout, when the sweat is drying on skin or clothes. Be sure to shower regularly and keep your gear clean and dry to help reduce this side effect.
Sweating is an indicator of fitness.
Shockingly, people who sweat quickly and more heavily tend to be more fit. It has nothing to do with weight or with exertion, but rather with the body recognizing that it needs to start that cooling down process. Athletes’ bodies are already in tune with their needs, and this is a huge plus for regulating temperature and keeping healthy.
It’s better to sweat too much than too little.
As much as I hate being a sweaty person, it is (as stated earlier) perfectly normal. The time to be concerned is when the sweat stops. When you no longer perspire, especially during physical activity, you are more prone to dehydration and heat exhaustion. These conditions can get very dangerous, very quick, so pay attention to the signs and symptoms. (Please be aware that the inability to sweat and over-excessive sweating should be brought to the attention of your doctor).
You can take steps to reduce sweat, but not eliminate it.
Especially in summer, there are things that can help reduce your perspiration. Wear lighter colors and wicking materials to help keep moisture from your skin. Drink plenty of water and try to avoid excessive amounts of sodium, caffeine, and alcohol.
Do you tend to sweat more or less? How do you handle it?
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We’ve got FIVE incredible co-hosts, and we are ready to link up every Friday to share YOUR weekly fitness favorites! Join My First 5K and More, Running With Attitude, Run Laugh Eat Pie, Runs with Pugs, and Zenaida every Friday for Fit Five Friday! Who’s ready for some fun?
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