Body Language

Every body is different. Learning your body’s language is integral to becoming a strong, healthy, and balanced runner. The trick is taking notice of how your body reacts to various environments, foods, stresses, etc.

Today I ran my prescribed miles/time indoors on a treadmill that is part of a small community gym within my housing complex. One thing I know about my body is that I sweat a lot when I workout. Most people sweat during strenuous activities, I just sweat more than most. Lovely. I have come to accept this about myself and it’s usually not a big deal. Until, that is, I step off the treadmill after running for an hour and completed 7 miles, and an elderly couple chatting at the back of room stare at me and then politely ask how long I’ve been running. When I tell them, the woman (bless her little heart as my gram would have said) says, “Well, it sure looks like you’ve been running a lot longer than that!” Ah, the blissful bluntness of those past caring what others think. How delightful.

So, yes, I’m a woman and I sweat like I’m going to pass out at any moment. And when it’s really hot and I’ve been really exerting myself, something especially strange happens. I sweat salt. Yes, you read that right. I said salt.  I’ve read a little on the subject and it actually happens to quite a few people when they workout as well. We all have amounts of water and sodium in our bodies that is shed during workouts. Because some people sweat more salt it’s important to replenish your supply of sodium through sports drinks that have electrolytes and serve to bring your body back into balance.

Think of your body as a machine. You should figure out what foods will be the best fuel to keep your body operating at its best. And since no two people are alike, one person’s eating rituals are most likely not going to mirror yours. For me my favorite are mid-morning runs. I eat a bagel and have a cup of coffee, wait two hours, and I feel amazing during my run! And, on the reverse side, any kinds of rich foods even if eaten the day before, are certain to mess with my body in not nice ways and make my run a miserable experience.

Learn your body’s language. Are you hurt? Tired? Dehydrated? Figuring out what your body is trying to tell you is one way you can become stronger and live a healthy and balanced life.

  1. Hah! I had never heard of that before. Feel reassured though, I too sweat A LOT when I exercise. But it’s generally a good sign: you must be well hydrated! As far as sodium goes, it’s literally everywhere in the American/western diet so I wouldn’t worry about it to much.

    – Kloé

    • Thanks for the reassurance, Kloe! And it’s true – at least I’m hydrated. 🙂

    • Luke
    • January 14th, 2010

    i think everyone sweats salt, since perspiration contains sodium. most of the time you can’t see the salt unless it dries to your face. when i play basketball, the sweat on my face and neck sometimes dries and creates salty white streaks. just like you, i sweat a lot too. must be in the genes.

      • Runner Sami
      • January 14th, 2010

      I realized after I wrote this blog that the sweating of salt was a little vague. Like Luke said it is not so much the sweating of salt, as everyone does this, but the crystalization of the salt on my skin. This is more unusual, from what I’ve read and heard, but just a different way of processing, and disposing, sodium from the body.

      Ah the wonderful human body!

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