Don’t Sweat It: Your Go-To Guide to Exercise and Sweat
Do you hate working out because you don’t like to sweat? Or are you one of the many people that use the “I don’t want to ruin my hair” excuse to avoid a workout? It’s a very common problem for so many people. They hate working out because they hate to sweat.
As I sit here typing and trying to think of a way to persuade sweat haters that they should still get fit, I think I’m starting to sweat because I don’t have a magic fix.
Yes, if you exercise your hair may go frizzy and your skin may get damp, but this is a good thing. Sweating is just part of life. I think my best approach is to explain why we sweat and how to make sweating more comfortable. Of course, I also have to give some skin and hair care advice, because, after all, I’m female. And since I love working out, I often build up a good sweat.
Have you ever wondered why some people sweat more than others? And why do we perspire during stressful situations? A friend of mine thought only unfit people started to drip during exercise, so she was shocked to see sweat pouring off me during an intense workout. I took it as a compliment that she thought I was so fit that my body had no need to perspire, but it prompted me to do a little ‘why we sweat’ research.
- Sweating is our body’s natural defense from over-heating.
- When sweat evaporates from your skin’s surface, it removes excess heat and cools you down.
- Lack of evaporation can cause your body to overheat, which can lead to feelings of dizziness and nausea.
- Perspiration contains water, sodium, chloride and potassium. The water evaporates but the rest stays on your skin leaving your skin dry and salty.
- Everybody sweats – but men sweat around 40% more than women generally because men have a larger surface area which they need to cool off.
- In some cultures sweat is regarded as a warriors essence!
- Perspiration can also be a hormonal reaction to anxiety, and stress and can be traced back to prehistoric flight or fight reactions.
Amazingly, some people sweat more and some people sweat less depending on their activity level. You may find that you sweat less as you get used to increased exercise intensity. This is primarily because your body is just getting more efficient at cooling itself down—giving you more of a moist glisten instead of a puddle of sweat. Some athletes sometimes sweat more because their body is fine-tuned to remain at optimal temperature for peak performance.
Whatever your physical fitness level, sweat happens. But I hate the thought that anyone would avoid exercise because they dislike feeling sweaty. So, here are my top tips to avoid feeling like a sweaty Betty.
- Try to workout in a cool space or outside when it’s not too hot.
- Don’t wear a cap while working out, because it traps in heat making your body go into overdrive to keep you cool.
- Wear appropriate clothing that will help keep your skin dry. Clothing technology is fantastic because you can buy workout clothing that keeps sweat off your skin or that is pre-treated with bacteria fighting elements.
- If you wear makeup, keep it to a minimum. Or, if you feel comfortable, wear no make up at all. Makeup mixed with sweat is a bad combination—it doesn’t look good and it may cause breakouts by clogging your pores.
- Cleanse your skin immediately after your workout. If you can’t take a shower right away, try to keep wipes handy to get excess sweat off your skin.
- Wear a head band or wrist band to stop sweat from getting into your eyes. Using a wrist band to wipe your forehead is better than using your hands or a towel that has been on the gym floor.
- If you have long hair, put it into a braid or ponytail so that it doesn’t touch your skin.
- If you don’t want to have to wash your hair every time you work out, try spraying a little hairspray over it before exercising and then brush it out after. This works for me. I think the hairspray stops the sweat from getting your hair too wet.
I hope you can use some of my tips to help keep you as dry as possible during your workout. If you still can’t stand the thought of sweating, you may love this quote I once heard: “Sweat is your fat crying.” The benefits of exercise far outweigh the slightly uncomfortable feeling we get from sweating. I think a post-exercise glow is very attractive, because looking after yourself is a beautiful thing.