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Sweating: Is there anything that can be done about it?

Exhausted runner taking a breathEveryone’s different when it comes to sweating. Some sweat buckets within 5 minutes of working out, whereas others don’t spill a drop. Why?

Below are some of the main reasons for sweating and advice on what you can do to combat it, where possible:

1. Working out.

Working out increases your internal heating system so the harder your workout the higher your temperature will rise. You start to sweat to release the heat in an effort to cool down or stabilise the temperature increase.

What you can do:

  • Drink lots of water before, during and after exercising.
  • Workout someplace cool i.e. in an air conditioned gym or room of your house, and workout when the outside air temperature is cooler i.e. mornings and evenings.
  • Wear lightweight breathable fabrics such as cotton, or even better invest in some sports clothing which is designed to lock away sweat.
  • Always wash clothing after exercising so that you start out dry prior to exercising, and ensure fresh socks are worn.
  • And finally, use powders that are meant for feet to keep the foot moisture and sweat to a minimum.

2. Heat.

When the air temperature rises, so does your body temperature. But the human body being the brilliant machine it is, has an inbuilt cooling mechanism. Your body has sweat glands that open when the body gets too warm. As sweat evaporates it cools down your body.

What you can do:

  • In this instance there isn’t much you can do because your body needs to produce sweat in order to keep you cooler. However if you do tend to sweat a lot in hot weather, try using a clinical-strength antiperspirant deodorant to block sweat and body odour.
  • Lightweight natural fabrics will also help you stay cooler and dryer.

3. Emotion.

Some people find that extreme emotions can also trigger sweat – embarrassment, anger, passion – all can cause your body to heat up and sweating start.

What you can do:

  • Again the best way to minimise the implication of emotive sweating is to use a clinical-strength antiperspirant deodorant.
  • There are also clinical therapies available for those who suffer badly called iontophoresis, but this involves mild electrical currents that should only be carried out in extreme cases and after extensive discussions with your GP.

4. Sickness.

Another reason to sweat can be due to illness. Sweat is also your body’s way to cool down when your body temperature increases. This shouldn’t be taken lightly as there are some specific types of fever that can have you sweating more than others. However once the sickness has passed your body should return to 37 degrees Celsius and the sweating should stop.

What you can do:

  • The only thing is to use medication containing paracetamol to reduce the fever and bring your body temperature down.
  • But as mentioned already if your body temperature is very high you should consult a GP before self-diagnosing as it could be something more serious.

5. Food.

The final major cause of sweating can be spicy food or hot food. This one isn’t rocket science! The hotter the food or drink consumed, the hotter your body will become. Although there are some that say drinking a hot cup of tea in warm weather is more refreshing than a glass of ice cool water. I’ll leave it up to your to decide if that works for you!

What you can do:

  • The most obvious thing to do is stop eating or drinking the hot and / or spicy food!
  • If you enjoy spicy food but it does make you sweat, then perhaps reduce the quantity of spice used in cooking.
  • Wear lightweight clothing that reduces the other influences of becoming warmer.

Sweating is part and parcel of being human, so don’t worry about it if you sweat more than the person next to you at the gym. Just be aware of the little positive things you can do to reduce your own discomfort, and perhaps in some circumstances, those around you!


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