Don’t Sweat It!

People exercise for many reasons. Whether it is heart health, weight loss, balance, or stress relief, there is a common misconception that you have to sweat in order to have a productive workout and to see results.  In fact, many people feel that it is a waste of time to exercise if they don’t break a sweat! However, you can still get a great workout and see changes in your body without drenching your clothing.

The human body sweats to regulate body temperature and to cool the body down. During exercise our heart rate and blood pressure increase, which can also cause the body to sweat. In general, men sweat more than women. Some research shows that the more fit you are, the more you sweat. Additionally stress, hormones, genetics, and environmental temperature are factors that affect the rate of perspiration.

Sweating is not directly correlated to the amount of calories burned, and it does not determine whether or not you achieved your workout goals. A good workout should be defined by the duration, intensity, and load of the workout – for both aerobic and resistance exercise.  You can improve muscle tone and strength, improve balance and posture, fix motor problems, increase core strength, and improve endurance without breaking a sweat! For example, pilates, yoga, and strength training with weights are all great for improving muscle tone and endurance. However, most of the time, sweating is kept to a minimum during these activities.

Breaking a sweat occurs more often during a cardio-intensive workout, such as running or spinning.  Aerobic workouts are great for your heart health and they do burn calories as well as help with fitness and weight loss. However, these workouts do not build a substantial amount of muscle and therefore do not increase metabolic rate. A combination of aerobic and resistance training is the best way to reach optimal fitness and weight loss goals.

It is important to understand that you do not have to kill yourself for hours each day sweating profusely to look and feel great. It is great to work up a sweat during a workout, but you do not have to sweat profusely every single session! It is much more important to make sure you are activating the proper muscle groups and using correct form in order to prevent injury and to move efficiently. This will enable your muscle groups to work properly and therefore will help you strengthen them appropriately. This, in turn, will give you the body you want and help you to reach all of your fitness goals.

Posted in Blog, Fitness and Health Articles.