Peeing and pooping, already discussed on this Frugivore with alarming frequency, are merely the tip of the iceberg when it comes to all the ways your body can betray you during exercise. It matters not whether you exercise indoors or out, in a gym setting or just with a friend, or if you are a die-hard or a fitness newbie; bodily functions happen to us all. That’s just what happens when your kidneys, sweat glands, gastrointestinal system and other body parts are working as they should. So today, I’m going to give you a Fitness Primer in all things icky. You can thank me later. I accept payment in jelly beans.

Since this topic is so broad (and because I get a ridiculous amount of reader e-mail on this topic!), I will be devoting the next few days to covering sweat, pee, poop, gaseous emissions, vomit & snot. If you are weak-stomached or just one of those men who believe women “never do number two” then you might want to skip the rest of this week. However, the rest of us will hopefully find some solace – and laughter- in knowing that we are not alone in our excretory embarrassments. This post goes out to any woman who’s ever balked at doing “Happy Baby” pose in yoga or any man who’s scooched across the weight bench only to have to announce loudly “I swear that wasn’t me!” This is for the gooey people.


Let’s start with the most innocuous and also the most common of the bodily fluids that exercise exacerbates. Whether you are a mere “glistener” or a sweaty Betty like me, if you are actually working out (and not just pretending by pedaling the stationary bike on zero resistance so you won’t ruin your elaborate hairdo) then you will sweat. The harder you workout, the more you will sweat. There are two things to know about your sweat: 1) it’s normal and there is no need to be embarrassed about it and 2) people only like their own sweat on their bodies.

You might have to just trust me on the first one – believe me, no one is judging you on your sweat-soakedness. If they’re staring, it’s because they want to know what you are doing that is obviously such an awesome workout. At least that’s what I tell myself. There is plenty you can do to help yourself in regards to the second item though. In order to keep your sweat to yourself, a few basic rules of hygeine apply.

1. Bring a towel.

If you’re a massive sweater (wow, that reads funny!), then use it not only to wipe yourself down but also as a barrier between you and publicly shared items like weight benches and yoga mats. This would be a great opportunity to buy one of those Shamwows you’ve been looking for a reason to order. You know you love that guy!

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  1. LOL I am a sweaty betty also, but I use a towel or two, and paper towels. to dab the sweat and to lay on benches and mats,
    Food odors and perfume/oil/colonge annoy me at the gym. I mean I know I may sometimes smell like a lil garlic if I had spaghetti the night before but smelling like a garlic clove or ten and a roll of salami is not good.
    Also some people could use some stronger deodorant but all in all even with equipment folk haven’t wiped down, I inspect before I use, spray it down myself and keep moving.

  2. Ugh! One of the main reasons I didn’t love my last gym was because it was just….sweaty. Smelled like sweat and I couldn’t fully enjoy my time. In a Caribbean country air conditioning is NOT an option for gyms!

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