Summer Sweatin': Part II - Cool Off


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What’s not so great about summer? The post workout shower sweat.  You know what I’m talking about.  You had a great workout: 3 minute warm up, 40 minutes of sweaty intervals, followed by a 2 minute “cool down” tomato facewhich involved you walking from the gym into the locker room.  You jump in the shower, jump out, attempt to dry off, get dressed and get back to the office.  And then it happens – You arrive promptly at 12:58 for your 1:00 meeting and the first question is a very concerned “Are you ok?”  You think, odd way to start, but then realize (with a little help of a reflection from the window), that your face is the color of a tomato, there’s a bit a sweat dripping down your hair line, and you’d love to sit in a freezer right now.  “Yes, just had a great workout” you respond, “How are you?”

How do you cool off, tone down the post workout “glow,” and stay fresh after a workout so you are ready to safety step back into the office without co-worker concern? I almost always take a shower and wash my hair in the morning so my sweat will be “fresh” sweat.  Post workout, I use Trader Joe’s Peppermint, Tea Tree and Eucalyptus Body Wash in a cool shower, followed by a cup of ice water and fan when I get back to my desk.  The peppermint oil in the body wash has a cooling/tingly effect.  Here’s a few more tricks of the trade from the RFC Staff:

First, spend a few extra minutes cooling down.  Many participants skip the cool down (yes, I’m guilty too) trying to get as much high-intensity calorie burning out of their few and precious fitness minutes.  As the name suggests, a cool down, will help the body return to resting levels.  Then, take a cool shower; not hot.  Many of us forget this simple but effective strategy. Avoid lotion as it will make it harder for the sweat to evaporate off your body. Instead, use a light alcohol-based product.  Alcohol has a naturally drying effect.  While we typically look for ways to not dry-out the skin, post-workout it has its place and the alcohol will help your skin to evaporate sweat more quickly.  And, when all else fails, just go with it.  Red face and wet hair = natural blush and the slicked-back look!  ~Pam

For the Ladies:  a little matte face powder goes a long way to tone down a red, sweaty face. A tall glass of ice water on the walk back to the office.  I focus on deep, relaxing breaths – even as I rush to get ready. ~ Dany

I turn the shower on cold the last minute I’m in, refill my water bottle, and if I have the time, I take a couple minutes to stretch in the office. ~Cheryl

Take a quick shower to rinse off your sweat, and then jump in the pool for a nice cool down and stretch! ~Jenn     (The shower part before getting in the pool is key as your sweat toys with the pH in the pool. In addition, if you have sensitive skin and/or want to keep your hair soft, taking a shower prior to entering a chlorinated pool will fill up your skin pores and hair will fresh water minimizing the chlorine effect on your skin and hair.)

I take a shower with rosemary mint shampoo and body wash. Rosemary and mint have a cooling effect on the body.  ~Amy

Make the beginning/middle of your workout the hardest and the last part not so much—for example, do your cardio first and then lift weights. Add in a few minutes at the end of a workout to stretch while drinking ice cold water.  Take a cooler shower to help minimize the sweat and then finish getting ready (hair, makeup, lotion, etc.) in your towel before getting dressed since non-workout wear doesn’t “breathe” like our workout clothes. ~Brittany

I create an aromatherapy spray that consists of lavender and peppermint to provide a refreshing mist that I spray above me and it showers down on me.  In addition, if I wash my hands in extra cold water and finish my shower with cold water, especially on my feet, it helps.  ~Celeste

So next time you have a 1:00 meeting following your 12:00 workout, don’t debate! Throw on your workout clothes and get moving or opt for a cooler pool workout.  Keeping in mind every fitness minute counts, grab your ice water and substitute a few minutes of cardio for longer cool down and stretch.  Follow that workout with a cool, minty shower and a little matte powder and you’ll be back in the office, refreshed and ready to take on the rest of your day!

Do you have something that helps you cool down? Share your tips here.


About Author

Amanda Pack

Sr. Recreation and Fitness Program Coordinator

Amanda received her B.A. in Exercise and Sport Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. At SAS, she has shares her passion of wellness with SAS employees as a Senior Recreation and Fitness Program Coordinator. When she’s not teaching others how to squat, chaturanga, and run or coaching expecting moms and Ironmen-to-be, you’ll find her exploring the outdoors with her husband, two sons, and schnoodle, cooking, propagating succulents, and training for endurance events. She’s a 2x IRONMAN finisher and multi-marathoner who loves to be on the trails or on her yoga mat! Amanda is registered through Yoga Alliance as an Experienced 200 hour Yoga Teacher (E-RYT200), certified in personal training and group exercise instruction through the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA), an IRONMAN Certified Coach and has training in prenatal yoga, Cosmic Kid's Yoga, and as a postpartum doula.

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