You need rest to grow. Sleep and time away from the gym are essential to the process of repairing the muscle tissue you damage by lifting weights. No matter who you are, there’s no way around this fact. But how much rest you need is a question that’s dogged exercise scientists for years. Now a […]
This Is Why You Sweat So Much — & What To Do About It
Ever feel like you’re basically swimming your way through your vinyasa only to realize your workout bud might as well be starring in an ad for matte foundation? Well, you can rest assured that some of us really do sweat more than others — and it doesn’t automatically mean you need to worry.
First off, let’s remember that sweating is a totally natural and normal bodily process! It might not make you smell the greatest, but it’s a sign that your body is helping you cool down (or trying to, at least). When you get warm, your body tries to compensate by setting your sweat glands into high gear. And when that sweat evaporates, it cools your skin in the process.
The problem, of course, is when you’re sweating a bunch and it’s not helping. Some of us just sweat more naturally thanks to our age, genetics, caffeine intake, and level of exertion. Surprisingly, as the American College of Sports Medicine explains, people who are more physically fit tend to start sweating earlier and at lower levels of exertion, because their temperature regulation system has become more efficient. As long as you’re staying hydrated, though, excessive sweating isn’t necessarily something to be worried about.
However, if you’re consistently sweating bullets when you’re not working out, in a warm environment, under a lot of stress, or scarfing down a spicy tuna roll, you might want to check in with your doctor. You could have a condition called “hyperhidrosis.” According to the Mayo Clinic, people with hyperhidrosis sweat so much that it interferes with their normal routine, and they often sweat in somewhat unusual places (e.g. the head, palms, or soles of the feet) without sweating elsewhere.
Although hyperhidrosis can occur on its own, it can also be a result of another underlying issue, such as diabetes or a thyroid that’s out of whack. So, if you’re worried about your level of sweating, it’s a good idea to get it checked out since it could be a sign of something else.
Once your doctor has determined what’s causing your sweating, she can help you figure out a way to tackle it. If it is, in fact, a side effect of another condition, treating that issue should help settle your sweating. But if your hyperhidrosis is its own issue, your doctor might try prescribing medications (such as prescription antiperspirant, antidepressants, or nerve-blocking drugs), botox injections, or, in serious cases, surgery to remove sweat glands in your armpits or dull some of your sweat-controlling nerves.
There’s also some stuff you can do on your own to minimize your sweating — and the smell that comes with it. That includes changing your socks more often, bathing frequently, and wearing wicking clothes when you work out to keep stink-causing bacteria from building up on your skin. In fact, those are probably good suggestions for those of us who sweat a more moderate amount, too.