Don’t Sweat On Me (a.k.a. Use a Towel and Clean Up After Yourself)

Sweat. It can be proof that you’re working hard. It can also be kind of disgusting. It all comes down to how you deal with it.

I was inspired tonight by the man next to me on the treadmill, sweating buckets, yet never touching the towel he had strategically placed on the console of the machine. Sweating all over the treadmill. Making me wish that I had placed my gym bag on the other side of my treadmill (cause let’s be honest, I don’t want to be bringing home his funk with me).

Here’s the thing: I am a sweater. I admit it. But I also do my best to both control it (thank you, towel service, I couldn’t survive without you) and wear clothes that do a pretty good job of at least covering up just how sweaty I can get during the course of my workout.

Which is why I fail to understand the people who don’t seem to be phased by the sheer volume of sweat that is pouring off of their bodies. I get it, hard work leads to sweat. But guy next to me tonight? You can pick up that towel and wipe your face (or neck, or arms, or anything else that is readily available for a wipe – I sweat a lot. Trust me, I know that all that sweat just sitting on your skin is not comfortable).

And sadly, he is not, by far, the worst that I’ve ever seen. There is one girl who I have seen throughout the last three years that I just fail to understand. She wears long sleeves – yes, long sleeves, in a gym full of tank tops – and climbs away at the stepmill for longer than any person ever needs to spend on stairs (for the record: she is about 8 lbs. It can’t be a trying to lose weight thing). She actually shows up with her cell phone in a plastic bag so as not to drown it in her own sweat. When she gets off of the machine, the ground around her is literally saturated (I can only wish I was making this up – I’ve made a point to avoid the machine on either side of her). How she doesn’t slip off of the machine is something I will never be able to understand, because honey has puddles around her.

So, all that said … what is my point here? Don’t be afraid of towels. Clean up after yourself. Recognize that while sweating is a natural process, and it shows that your body can effectively cool itself, it’s a good idea to wear appropriate clothing to help wick the moisture away from your body. And please – PLEASE – be aware of the people around you. They’ll thank you!

16 thoughts on “Don’t Sweat On Me (a.k.a. Use a Towel and Clean Up After Yourself)

  1. The lady sounds like yet another person who actually thinks wearing clothes to make you warmer while working out is going to help… Maybe she has a fight to weigh in for!

  2. I’m a sweater too and an avid towel user! 😉 I’m always looking for workout clothes that will keep me cool, but absorb or wick away the sweat. I mostly wear tanks and shorts since it’s always hot where I live. If you have some favorite items, please share! Thanks! 🙂

  3. Yes! That woman on the stepmill! Oh, my goodness. I see her everyday, and my heart sinks each time. I feel great sorrow for her; she’s clearly got a very unhealthy addiction to exercise as a punitive activity.

    • I honestly do wonder if it is a psychological issue with her. I just get bored on that machine after 30 minutes or so, I don’t know how she can do it for so long, every day.
      Saw you on Sunday morning, and by the way, you look GREAT! (It’s kind of criminal for you to look that good after 3 kids. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again … I want to be you someday.) Welcome back!!

      • 30 minutes on that sucker is enough time for me, too. It can be a super intense workout if you do it the right way, and nobody should have to be on there for more than half an hour. I see that woman and realize that there’s little joy in exercise for her. For me, there’s no other reason to workout (i.e., the mood-boosting effect and stress relief).

        I saw you on Sunday, too, teaching what looked like a fun, high-energy class (I think I’ll have to try it, though I don’t know if I’m coordinated enough to keep up).

        Thanks so much for the ego boost. Hopping back into working out after a month off has been humbling, but it’s also fun to have a new challenge. 🙂

      • Seriously – if I didn’t enjoy working out, I wouldn’t do it! Sunday’s class was Piloxing – it’s actually pretty easy to follow, it’s just a matter of how into it you get 😉 Great for core strength and balance, and it’s interval-based, so you get your sweat, too. I’ll be out of town this Sunday, but after the holidays we’re there every week at 9:30 (my schedule is staying the same with the exception of one small time shift to my Sunday Pilates in new year).

  4. I can definitely understand where you’re coming from. My only pet peave is to the lady who runs while clinging to the treadmill for dear life, only letting go to whip me repeatedly with the towel as she swings it to wipe her sweat! Etiquette people! 🙂

    • Oh, no! I fail to understand why anyone has to cling to the machines to begin with. Either you’re moving too fast, or you need to do some core work and fix your posture. Do people not realize how much this takes away from your workout and cuts back your calorie burn??
      I’m constantly grabbing for my towel, but I do at least try my best to keep it close to me, cause those machines are bumped right up against one another.

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