Why Do We Sweat?

Science & Technology

UTICA, N.Y. (WUTR/WFXV/WPNY-TV) —As we approach summer, the days are getting hotter and the AC’s are being cranked up. We all know how good it feels to escape that heat on a hot sunny day. Though what happens when you’re outside and can’t cool down? Well, our body has an AC of its own, sweat! It might sound kind of gross, but sweating is incredibly important to our health and it’s the body’s natural way of cooling down.

How exactly do we sweat? It all starts with our body’s normal temperature of around 98.6°F (though some studies have shown that the normal body temperature can have a wide range, from 97°F (36.1°C) to 99°F (37.2°C)). When our body temperature starts to rise past this, sweat is released from our skin. The sweat starts to evaporate and draw heat out of our body through a process known as evaporative cooling.

Unfortunately when the humidity is high, sweat is not as effective because it takes longer to evaporate off of our skin. This leaves us feeling hotter on those muggy days which poses the threat for heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

Groups at high risk to experience these heat related illnesses are older Americans and young children. So take a few extra minutes on those especially hot and humid days to check in on your neighbors, friends, and family to ensure their health and safety!

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