Weekly Wellness: Do I sweat too much?
COLUMBIA - I have clients ask me about this ALL the time: “What is a normal amount of sweating?”
Well, before I answer that, let’s talk about what sweating is and why it’s important. The short answer is that sweating is the body’s natural way of cooling itself down to maintain a healthy body temperature (even when it’s at work or in the heat of the sun).
Humans are born with between two and four million sweat glands. Women have more sweat glands than men, but men's glands are more active. The amount you sweat has to do with your gender (male or female), the number of actual sweat glands you have, the temperature of your environment, how intense your activity is and/or how anxious you feel. It also depends on how many sweat glands are activated and how much sweat is excreted from each gland.
If you’re a fit person, you’re probably going to sweat more efficiently by sweating earlier during workouts when your temperature is lower. However, a sedentary person working at the same intensity will heat up a lot faster and possibly sweat more. And overweight people tend to sweat more profusely than normal-weight individuals because fat acts as an insulator that raises core temperature.
There are some outside variables that can also contribute to your body’s ability to sweat. Caffeine and alcohol can increase perspiration. Smokers may also sweat more since nicotine can affect your hormones, skin, and brain. Wearing synthetic fabrics (rather than breathable fabrics) can trap heat and make you more.
There is also a common condition called hyperhidrosis. Persons with this medical condition experience much more sweating than a normal body. If you are someone who feels like your body becomes a faucet, that you sweat from your palms, feet, back, and face (even if it's cold out or you're not moving), consult your doctor to see what treatment options are available.
So, you see, sweating is totally important. You WANT to sweat. If nothing else, it gives you a great reason to buy and wear those really fun headbands!