Does Sweating More Mean You’re Getting A Better Workout? - Crozer-Keystone Health System - PA

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Published on October 18, 2018

Does Sweating More Mean You’re Getting A Better Workout?

By the staff at Healthplex® Sports Club

Man on a treadmillMany people equate a lot of sweating to a good workout. If you come home from the gym completely dry, you must have been doing something wrong, right?

Not necessarily. We often assume that the amount we sweat correlates to the intensity of our workout or the calories we’ve burned, but this isn’t always the case.

Sweating is your body’s natural way of cooling itself down when you’re hot to help you maintain a normal body temperature.

Though you’re very likely to sweat while exercising, it isn’t a reliable indicator of how good your workout is. That’s because there are many other factors unrelated to exercise that can influence the intensity of sweat.

What determines how much you sweat?

How much you sweat can be influenced by a number of factors, including gender, age, weight and genetics. Men tend to sweat more than women, as do younger people compared to older people and overweight people compared to thinner people. It’s also just in our genes. You may sweat more than a friend while doing the same workout routine simply because it’s the way you are.

Fitness level does play a part in how much you sweat, but not in the way you might think. Contrary to popular belief, sweating more doesn’t mean you’re out of shape. Fit people tend to sweat sooner and more excessively than those that exercise less. This is because the more you work out, the better able your body is to generate sweat and regulate its temperature.

Are high-temperature workouts better for you?

If the amount we sweat has little to do with the effectiveness of our workout, you may ask yourself why high-temperature workouts like hot yoga or hot cycling have become so popular. Is working out in the heat any better than working out at room temperature?

How much we sweat isn’t a good indicator of how productive our workout was. However, there is some research that leads us to believe that exercising in heat can be beneficial to your health. In a study conducted at the University of Oregon with 20 cyclists, researchers found that exercising in heat can help your body better regulate temperature, enhance blood flow and volume, and improve performance. Many people also just enjoy exercising in warmer temperatures, making it more likely that they’ll schedule regular workouts and see health improvements.

However, it’s important to be aware that high-temperature workouts do come with risks, especially if you have never done them before. It’s best to acclimate your body slowly, starting with shorter workouts in slight heat and then increasing the time and temperature. Be sure to hydrate before, during and after the routine.

Regardless of the temperature or amount you sweat, what’s important is incorporating regular exercise into your daily routine. You can talk to a certified personal trainer at the Healthplex Sports Club to design the right workout plan for you. Call 610-328-8888.

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