By: Michelle Hua
Sweating is a key function in our body’s system. Because of our ability to sweat, humans have much higher endurance than almost all other animals in the world, despite their lower physical limits. However, most people can agree that the feeling of excessive sweat can be rather uncomfortable. And while some people experience this constantly, others stay perfectly dry almost always. So what exactly are the reasons you sweat, and how can you decrease the amount you produce?
The main function of sweat acting as a cooldown mechanism. When your body begins to overheat, your sweat glands begin to produce sweat to lower your temperature. With that in mind, there are several reasons why you may sweat more than others.
- Body size: In many cases, the larger your body size is, the more likely you are to sweat. This is likely due to two reasons: The insulation your body fat provides, and the amount of energy you use to carry your weight. Both these factors would cause your body to heat up quicker, and in turn, generate more sweat.
- The temperature your body is used to: If you grew up in a warmer climate, your sweat glands would be more familiar to the process of sweating and would be quicker to start producing it as you start heating up. So a person who grew up in near the equator would probably sweat a lot more than someone who grew up closer to the poles when doing the same work in the same place.
- Fitness levels: Similar to how the sweat glands of people used to a warmer climate are more active, the glands of people who exercise more often are also more active. So if you work out a lot and find that you sweat more than some of your friends, you may just be more physically fit than them.
With all these factors at play, lowering your sweat levels might be difficult. However, at the end of the day, the purpose of sweat is to cool you down. If you want to sweat less, decreasing your temperature through other means is key. This can be achieved in many ways, such as:
- Wearing lighter, more breathable clothing
- Drinking colder water while exercising
- Working out in a colder area, or turning up your AC
So next time you want to sweat less, just remember: there are many factors that determine your sweat levels, but temperature is key above all else. And while sweating can be uncomfortable, it’s important to keep in mind that it’s still a vital bodily function.