Sweat is something that everyone deals with. This is definitely the case in the summer, as the hot sun beams down day in and day out. Sweat is a significant issue for summer athletes participating in sports that take place outdoors. Here are a few sweat-related precautions to take.
First Of All, Why Do We Sweat?
Sweat, although uncomfortable, is a natural process that is necessary for the body’s health. Sweat helps regulate body temperature by cooling off the body when it is overheated. No matter the reason, whether it is exercise, stress, or just simply being in hot weather, sweating is a process that reduces your internal body temperature. The hotter your body is, the more sweat is produced. This is also different for each person.
Protect Your Skin
Start by choosing an antiperspirant that works right for you. Do not get an antiperspirant confused with deodorant which only works toward reducing the odor, not moisture. Apply generously daily, especially before exercising and when going out in the sun.
All this sun exposure can lead to a golden tan, but too much sun can really damage the skin. UVA and UVB rays can cause serious problems that may lead to skin cancer, which is the most common type of cancer. The best preventative measures against skin cancer are staying out the sun, which is impossible for summer-time athletes.
Athletes should take precaution by wearing sunscreen that meets the following criteria:
- High SPF (sun protection factor)
- Broad spectrum protection
- Water/sweat resistance
According to the Centers of Disease Control (CDC), 318 Americans die every year to heat-related illnesses. Most of these are preventable, especially dehydration. On average, men should consumer 3L of water daily and women 2L of water daily. These numbers are significantly higher for those exercising and sweating.
There are no set numbers for how much water to drink into to replenish the body after sweat excretion. The more you sweat, the more water you should drink. If you’re feeling thirsty, that means you are already dehydrating. A recommended amount is consuming at least 8-12 ounces of water every 30 minutes of exercise.
Try avoiding sugary and caffeinated drinks. Other than water, sports drinks like Gatorade and Powerade are also effective in hydration, especially replacing some of the electrolytes you lose through sweat.
Your best bet is to take a shower almost immediately following outdoor physical activity. If that is not a possibility, at least make sure to thoroughly wash your hands, maybe even throw some water on your face to cool it off and wash away some sweat. But your body is not the only thing that needs to be cleaned after playing sports outside.
Your sweat and germs linger on all of the equipment you use. All things from sports balls, equipment like rackets and bats, as well as goals and hoops baskets should be disinfected regularly with a disinfecting sports spray. These are items that many people come in contact, becoming an easy way to contract some serious diseases. There is a higher risk of this with outdoor sports as compared to indoor since dirt and grass or turf come into play.
Wash clothes after each use so that any absorbed sweat is not come into contact again. Advise teammates, friends or anyone that you know who plays outdoor sports to do the same in order to keep this theme of cleanliness going.
Warm weather has a tendency to produce such an excitement that causes most to forget about these little things that can make huge difference. But now you’re ready for the hot summer sun. Happy sweating!
Feature image via Fitness 19