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Sweating a ton!
Q.I always seem to sweat a ton whenever I exercise, whether itís hot or cold, regardless of whether itís a cardiovascular workout or strength training. Is it normal, or something I should be worried about?
A. Sweating is a very natural way for your body to cool itself down. If your body did not sweat effectively it would be far more worrisome.
The main things to be concerned about with copious sweating are the following:
- Replenish the fluids lost during hard exercise. One way to be sure you are doing this adequately is to weigh yourself before a long endurance workout and then be sure you drink enough during and after to return you to your starting point. Be sure you drink before you get thirsty or you may end up dehydrated.
- Consume enough electrolytes (potassium and sodium) in addition to water to prevent bouts of hyponatremia, which typically only occurs in more extreme cases of heat and endurance activities (see www.bodyresults.com/E2hyponatremia.asp for more information.)
- Change clothing layers as soon as you stop moving, especially if you get really wet with sweat. This applies on warm as well as cooler, overcast days.
- Make layering your buddy! Remove a layer just before you start to exercise so that you start out a little on the chilly side; this will help prevent you from overheating in the first few minutes of your workout.
- Since a large amount of heat can be lost through your head, wear a very light knit hat or at least a bandana in very cold weather to help prevent too much heat loss.
- As a courtesy to other exercisers, keep a towel handy if you are training indoors so you can dry off the machines and equipment after you are finished so the next person has clean gear to work with.
- If you are one of nearly 8 million Americans who suffers from more extreme cases of perspiration from hands, feet, armpits or elsewhere, you may actually have a condition known as hyperhidrosis. Doctor-prescribed antiperspirants containing higher than normal levels of aluminum compounds can help plug up excessively active sweat glands.