FitnessHealth and WellnessSelf- Care

Sweat. All The Ins and Outs

By August 17, 2016June 11th, 2019No Comments

Sweat. Wonderful, amazing (annoying, uncomfortable) sweat. It’s a funny thing. People seem to love it or hate it, and not much in between. Which team are you on?

Before you choose, let’s talk about why we sweat.

Sweat is controlled by your sympathetic nervous system. People sweat differently under different circumstances (stress, anxiety,etc). But for our purposes we are focusing on sweat as a way to cool off. We must get rid of that excess heat in our muscles and in our body so we can survive. Whether outside in the hot sun or working out in the gym, we sweat.

Some will sweat more than others due to weight (excess body fat makes you sweat more due to the heavy insulation, as well as it taking more energy to move). And you also sweat more when you are a fit person. Why? Because your body is primed to sweat more efficiently at a lower temperature. If you are male, you will automatically sweat more too. Women produce less sweat from each gland.

There is another reason we do it. And it’s my favorite reason. Our bodies also sweat for detoxification purposes. It’s the same reason people love saunas. We detoxify dissolved solids, and send sodium (salt) back into the blood stream to maintain salinity in the body.

Sweating is good for us. Mothers of yesteryear would try to sweat out a fever in a sick child. I do this too when I feel a cold coming on. I go teach a good sweaty class. That normally kicks it right out of me.

{Note: There is a fine line on this one. If I’m really sick I don’t teach because that will wear me down even more. But if it hasn’t hit full on, then I stand a good chance of getting rid of it before it becomes a problem.}

Amazingly, as much as I love to sweat, I know some people who truly abhor it. There is something about being sticky and wet that really drives them crazy. That’s tough and I don’t have any solutions for them. Except to tell them to simply embrace it and become a lover of sweat. 😉

We have over 4 million sweat glands in our body. Wow! That’s a lot of tiny little glands. It’s amazing we aren’t dripping everyday all the time. And that brings me to another topic. What if you don’t sweat much?

Are you one of those people that look at the person next to you in a class and wonder what they are doing that’s different than you? If you are really taking your workouts up a notch and nothing is changing, it could be that you are dehydrated, so make sure to check your water intake. Your body can’t release liquids if it doesn’t have enough.

According to my MD, most people that work out 4-5 days a week are dehydrated. After checking me for it (I was dehydrated though I drink a ton of water), she recommended that I also include sparkling mineral water into my daily liquid consumption. The minerals help my body to hold onto the water instead of it all slipping away from me. Plus, we lose minerals as we sweat so it’s an easy way to add some back in. Check the bottle and make sure it says “high mineral content”. I drink 8-16 oz a day, plus, all of my regular water.

Another way to notice if you are potentially dehydrated is to note if you have a feeling of salt on your skin after working out. They feel like actual granules. Until my doc told me I was dehydrated, I thought those granules on my face were something that everyone got when they worked out. Silly me…

Whether you love to sweat or hate it, it is important for healthy bodily function and everyone needs to do it. So go pick your favorite activity and get your sweat on!


Author fitnessmama45

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