Are you a sweater? Do you leave a trail of sweat comparable to Niagara Falls on each piece of equipment you use at the gym? Hopefully not! It’s always kosher to clean up and wipe up after yourself. Perhaps you sweat very little and have always wondered why others sweat more than you. So what does your sweat say about you?
For starters sweat is not a bad thing, especially at the gym. If you are self-conscious or embarrassed for sweating a lot when you workout, try not be. Just wipe up your sweat and continue working hard. Sweating a lot at the gym is actually a sign of good conditioning. You may think the opposite is true: that the more in shape you become, the less you sweat, because the workout is “not hard anymore”. You may think sweating during workouts shows you are out of shape due to the strain the exercise is putting on your body. It’s just not true.
A conditioned body sweats more due to the higher blood volume and excess of fluid available to be sweated out. More conditioned athletes usually drink more water, which also creates more fluid available for sweating. You may also start sweating sooner in a workout, not later, as your body can tell when it’s time to cool off. And that’s exactly what sweat does: cools the body. Sweat is very vital.
Often the newer exerciser may not sweat as quickly or as much because they either haven’t been drinking enough water or their body doesn’t recognize how to cool itself off yet. This can lead to shorter workouts, because the new exerciser gets so hot they don’t want to continue.
A condition does exist known as hyperhidrosis. This refers to excess sweating on the entire body, but can be localized to more specific areas like the hands and feet that seem to always be sweating. Hyperhidrosis is a genetic condition that can be treated with prescription-strength antiperspirants or other various therapies. If you feel you have hyperhidrosis, consult your doctor.
Your sweat can say a lot about you. One thing it’s not saying is, “You sweat too much.” Whether you sweat from drinking a lot of water or being more conditioned and presenting a higher blood volume, it’s ok. If you don’t sweat enough, you should pay close attention to the amount of water you are drinking.
It should be noted, too, that all exercisers are made differently. It is possible to be in great shape and not sweat profusely and vice versa. Don’t be alarmed or panicked by your sweat, whether it’s very little or in great amounts. Try to take note of how you actually feel. Are you sweating a lot, but still feeling very hot? Chances are you’re either outside or still in a killer workout, and it’s ok. If you are outside in the heat and you’ve ceased sweating, it’s time to head indoors and replenish your water and sodium reserves! If you are indoors working out at your gym and sweating very little, ask yourself how long you’ve been exercising, how hot you feel, and how much water you’ve been consuming.