When the thermometer and the humidity start to rise, it sure is easy to skip your lunchtime walk in favor of an air-conditioned cafeteria. But we’ve got a big bunch of tips that will help you feel fresh after a sweaty walk.
Carry spare change — of clothing, that is. Pack loose-fitting shorts and a top (preferably sleeveless), a sports bra, socks, and walking shoes. “That way, you won’t have to work in the same clothes you walked in,” says Liz Neporent, avid walker, exercise physiologist, and co-author of Fitness for Dummies (IDG Books Worldwide, 1996).
Wick sweat away. Choose walking clothes made from fabrics that pull moisture away from your body, such as CoolMax and Supplex. They allow sweat to evaporate more quickly, leaving you cooler and cleaner-feeling. (Available at sporting goods stores.)
Create a “shower in a bag.” Your kit should contain a change of underwear, deodorant, powder, baby wipes, and dry shampoo, if needed.
Give your neck a breeze. If your hair isn’t short, you can avoid a hot, sweaty neck by pulling your hair back into a loose ponytail or off your neck and face with a bandanna. To really fight the sweat, try using Cool Clothes: This line of cotton neck- and headbands is filled with water-absorbing gels, so they stay cool for hours
Do a prefreeze.Fill a water bottle one-half to three-quarters full, and place it in the freezer overnight. Before your walk, fill the rest with water. It will stay icy cold for your entire walk.
Dab diligently. Carry a bandanna, handkerchief, or small towel to absorb the sweat that rolls down your face. Dab, don’t wipe, to avoid smearing your makeup.
Stretch in the shade. Find a shady spot, take off your shoes and socks, and stretch for 5 to 10 minutes. This gives your body a chance to cool down.
Refresh instantly. Run cool water over your wrists to hasten your cooldown.
Take a no-water bath. Gently cleanse your skin with baby wipes to remove perspiration and leave a fresh fragrance. Run the baby wipe over your sweatiest areas: face, neck, underarms, pubic area, and feet. Then sprinkle on some powder, reapply deodorant, and touch up your makeup
Choose a sunscreen with zinc oxide as the active ingredient. It’s less likely to irritate your skin, and if you do perspire, it’s not going to burn if it drips into your eyes.