Working up a Sweat

3D character running on a treadmill. Isolated on white background.

Sweat is great. It is one of the best ways to judge the intensity of a workout. You start to sweat when you keep your heart rate up. After sustaining your activity level for any length of time you may find that your shirt is soaked, your hair is wet, and you are smelly as can be. That is when you know your workout did its job.

The problem is that sweat is more than an indicator that you worked hard! Sweat is the release of fluid and toxins from your body as a result of physical exertion. When you sweat your body loses moisture—a lot of it. You need to replenish that moisture by drinking plenty of liquids as you work out, and as you recover.

Tips for Dealing with Sweat

Not many people actually like feeling sweaty. Sure, you may feel great after a strong workout, but usually, once the workout is over and you are left feeling like a sweaty mess, the first thing you want to do is shower to clean yourself up.

If you haven’t spent a lot of time exercising in the past, then you may not have many positive memories of sweating. For sure, no one likes getting stuck outside on a hot day in their formal work clothes, becoming soaked in sweat as each minute passes. If this is you, then the idea of heading outside to intentionally sweat may sound absolutely preposterous. However, sweating is a sign of workout success, and so having strategies in mind to better deal with that sweat is a good idea.

Here are a few tips for dealing with sweat:

  • Keep a cool towel in your gym bag so that you can wash your face and cool your neck when your workout is over.
  • Use dry shampoo after your workout to remove the grease and moisture from your hair.
  • Keep iced water or cold sports drinks with you to cool off during and after your workout.
  • Wear moisture wicking workout clothes to keep your skin dry as you work out.

For some, sweat is a sign of victory. Sweat is associated with winning soccer games as a kid, with spending long afternoons running around with friends, and with finally beating your personal record on a 5K. If you don’t like to exercise because you don’t like to sweat, then it may be time for you to change your perspective on getting sweaty. Try to think about sweat as evidence that you are working hard towards achieving your weight loss goals.