Don't Sweat It | Why Some People Sweat More Than Others


There’s nothing like crushing it in the gym. Your legs are churning. Your lungs are burning. The sweat is flying off you. It’s awesome. But what about when you’re perspiring so much it kind of freaks you out? Is that normal? Probably. But it could also be a sign of a medical condition. Let’s examine.

Prodigious sweating most likely has to do with three things: hydration, body fat percentage and aerobic fitness. Your output correlates with these variables, which can fluctuate. The key is to be mindful of them and adjust.

The first thing to know is that sweat is generally a good thing. Our bodies use it to regulate body temperature. Sure, it can be awkward when it’s cascading off you during a class. But understand that it dissipates body heat and cools us internally. Sweat is our friend.

Also, a lot of it is genetic and determined by how many sweat glands you have. Some people just sweat more than others. Try not to take it personally.

Control what you can control. This means drinking lots of fluids in between workouts. A good rule of thumb is to drink an additional 16 ounces of fluid for each pound lost during activity. Keep that water bottle with you and hydrate. It will keep your sweat levels healthy.

Remember to dress smartly. Sometimes you’re just sweating because you’re too warm. Logical, right? So be mindful of what you’re wearing.

Also, factor in weather conditions and diet. It all makes a big difference.

Of course, sometimes sweating is an indicator of a health issue. Ask yourself if you’re feeling light-headed. If the sweat is just pouring off you and you’re feeling a little dizzy or faint, shut things down. Rest and drink a lot of water. If you don’t improve, go to a doctor. You could be dehydrated. Or you could be suffering from hyperhidrosis, which is a signaling problem between the brain, nervous system and sweat glands. This typically occurs in the armpits, hands, feet or head. If you sweat when your body doesn’t need to be cooled, or if you’re sweating in some areas and not others, you might have a clinical issue. Make an appointment with a physician.

But only about 3 percent of the population has something like that so try not to worry. The odds are heavily in your favor that it’s nothing to sweat about. (Sorry, we couldn’t resist.)