Reposted and edited. Or revised. Whatever.
I was recently watching tennis, the French Open. One of my favorite sports events ever is Wimbledon. That and the U.S. Open (tennis version) are bittersweet because Wimbledon marks the beginning of summer, ironically culminating around July 4, and the U.S. Open sadly marks the end of summer. However, on the good side, it usually coincides with the start of football season. But I’m not writing about tennis. I’m writing about sweating.
I play tennis, and I especially love to play when it’s 90+ degrees outside. Sometimes I put a little baby oil on before playing because it exaggerates the sweat. On a really hard serve, I’ll actually see drops of sweat flying off my arm. When I feel sweat running down my back and legs it reminds me that I’m getting a good workout. That sweat is there for an important reason, but at the French Open I was watching Rafael Nadal take a towel and dry off sweat between almost every point. If your racquet hand gets sweaty, that’s a bad thing as the racquet will occasionally either twist in your hand or just fly away. So yes, wipe the sweat off your hand and that arm, wipe it off your face so it doesn’t get in your eyes, but don’t wipe it off the rest of you. It’s better to leave the sweat on you.
We’ve all done this: you’re in a swimming pool for a long time, comfortable in the water, and then you get out and run for a towel because it seems so much colder out of the pool, even on a hot day. The same thing happens when you get out of a shower or bathtub. This is because you’re covered with drops of water. Water absorbs heat. When drops of water sit on your skin, they pull heat from your body, giving you an instant cool down. It’s your body’s own air-conditioning system. When your temperature gets too high, you sweat, and the purpose is exactly to place drops of water on your skin to suck the heat out of you and cool down.
Wiping away that sweat does three things:
1. it stops your body from naturally cooling itself down
2. it causes your body to create more sweat
3. it dehydrates you faster because your body is using water for sweat.
It might feel a little weird, but leave the sweat on you. The human body is a brilliant machine. Put down the towel, and let your body do its job.