by Thea Wood, TheaWood.com
As a peri-menopausal woman, I dread outdoor workouts in the summer. My hormones bring on a heat wave that feels like I’ll spontaneously combust, and my workout apparel shows it.
I’ve seen plenty of feedback on my blog from women saying “we’re working out, it shouldn’t matter what we look like or how much we sweat.” In theory, I agree! Yet, there are many times when women find themselves exercising with co-workers, or men they would like to date, or on vacation activities with large groups of people where we’d like to look like we’re not in need of medical attention. These easy style hacks also help prevent odor and other feminine hygiene health issues that can rain on your summer parade.
Here are three workout style challenges and sweat-proof hacks that will keep you looking and feeling your best while burning calories:
CHALLENGE: Arm pit and cleavage stains.
HACK: Wicking fabrics. The pros wear wicking fabrics so they look cool and calm on television. Wicking fabrics pull sweat from the body and help it quickly evaporate into the air, leaving minimal sweat stains even when the heat is on. The key is to wash them in cold water and avoid the dryer, which will compromise the garment’s wicking ability. When purchasing, look for tags that say “dri-fit” or “wicking” or “moisture proof” on them. Athletic tops, bottoms, sports bras, underwear, and dresses are all available in wicking fabrics.
CHALLENGE: Groin sweat
HACK(s): Skorts instead of leggings. Yes, yoga pants and leggings are all the rage. Yet, sweat can seep through the groin area. Not a good look on anyone at any time. There are some leggings that have a built-in skirt— a great option. I prefer skorts because they allow your skin to breathe better in the heat. Again, look for those with wicking options to minimize stains and odor.
Multi-color printed fabrics do wonders for hiding sweat stains and little bumps/bulges. For leaner looking hips and thighs, go with vertical or diagonal prints.
CHALLENGE: Body Odor
HACK (s): Body odor is a bacterial side effect of sweat, among other causes. I sweat *a lot* when I run or golf in Texas summers. Remember to load up on deodorant (especially those with baking soda, which naturally absorbs moisture and fights odor). Apply an SPF that smells like coconut or other tropical aromas to mask body odor and protect your skin. I’m particularly fond of eucalyptus or mint body lotions as an alternative. They naturally feel cool on the skin and invigorate the senses for a more energetic workout.
When it’s really hot, I shower in cold water prior to working out. Sounds counter productive, but it cools off your body temp in advance. Drink lots of water before during and after the workout to dilute the toxins in your body. Avoid alcohol within 24 hours— your skin helps your liver and kidneys detox, which means the alcohol can seep out of your skin and stink. Onions, garlic, and other strong foods can aggravate BO. Try a couple of peppermint oil drops under your tongue before working out to help minimize odors.
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