Saturday, August 20, 2011

Sweat Zones 101

Did you know that men and women sweat differently? This knowledge can be HUGE when determining what clothes to wear! It certainly explains to me why my husband (when he runs and uses my armband) returns my armband in such wet condition that I'm afraid to touch it! Trust me, it is truly disgustingly dropping wet! I always wondered why his arms sweat so profusely and mine were simply moist. Well, now I know!

First, the source of this data comes from this great article/study which I think you would find interesting....its located here. The picture is also from this same article.So, why do you need to know this stuff? Surely, its pretty interesting....but even moreso, it can help you select clothing that helps with ridding your body of unwanted moisture. There is no such thing as gender-neutral" running clothes for a reason!

Women's Body Parts (in order of sweatiest to least sweaty):

  • Upper/Center Back

  • Lower/Center Back

  • Upper/Non-Centered Back

  • Lower/Non-Centered Back & Chest

  • Every other part has minimal sweat distribution
Men's Body Parts (in order of sweatiest to least sweaty):

  • Lower/Center Back

  • Middle/Non-Centered Back

  • Upper/Center Back

  • Waist & Upper/Non-Centered Back & Shoulders

  • Every other part has minimal sweat distribution
Ok, so what does this mean/imply?

  • Men should avoid wearing items around their waist (eg spibelts and water hydration packs.

  • Women should avoid wearing items on their upper/center back (eg camelbacks that sit higher on the back) or sports bras that have full coverage over this area. Instead, focus on waist packs for hydration and sports bras that have straps.
Anything that covers a major sweat area is going to hinder your performance. If your sweat cannot evaporate easily, you are going to be colder in cool weather and warmer in hot weather...hardly a good thing for your body. Your body is an amazing machine which self-regulates, and putting too much next to these areas will just make it work harder...who needs that when they are just trying to keep up in a race!


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