The Importance Of Sweating During Workouts

When it comes to sweating during workouts, there are certain misconceptions. First, there are those who believe that the more they sweat, the more calories they’ve burned during a workout. Others assume that the more they sweat, the better the workout routine was.

Sweating during a workout helps cool off your body. When working out, your body heats up. Your sweat glands are stimulated and sweat produced. Once the sweat evaporates from the skin, you cool off.

When your body doesn’t cool off adequately, you can go into shock and in extreme cases experience organ failure. During exercise, the blood vessels, especially in your legs, expand bringing more blood to the feet and legs. Cooling downplays an important role in lowering your heart rate and helping restore blood flow to all parts of the body adequately.

Cooling down is also important in helping stretch your muscles thus avoiding muscle cramps which can occur after a workout. Stretches incorporated during workout further help prevent muscle cramps.

stinking but important

Young man with sweat trail on his shirt

What Determines How Much You Sweat During Workout

How much you sweat is determined by several factors. Our body makeup is unique and some individual sweat more even when not subjected to physical activity. On the other hand, some individuals can go through strenuous workouts without producing much sweat. Other factors that influence how much you sweat include humidity, surrounding temperature and your level of fitness. The more physically fit you are, the quicker you’ll sweat because your thermoregulation system turns on faster. But this doesn’t always happen, some people just don’t sweat as much despite their level of fitness.

Weight can also influence how much you sweat during a workout. This is because fat is an insulator, therefore, individuals with more fat in their bodies likely feel hotter and therefore sweat more than lean people would.

A genetic predisposition could also affect one’s ability to sweat. Some people sweat profusely all the time. Others sweat more in specific areas such as the palms, feet or armpits because their sweat glands in these areas react to the brain’s indication.

Your sex to some degree can influence how much you sweat. Studies show than men’s sweat glands are more active than those in women. This means that men tend to sweat more. The more physically fit a man it, the more he will sweat profusely in comparison to the female counterpart. Consequently, men dispel heat from the body faster and easier.

Fat can effect how much you will sweat during workout

Fat man with a very big stomach as he is pregnant

What If You’re Not Sweating During Workouts?

Various factors can influence your ability to sweat during workouts. You might have fewer sweat glands than most people and therefore this will limit how much you will sweat. Sometimes people in better physical shape tend to sweat less as well. This is because you might be engaging in a workout that is easier for you to carry out than it is for another individual. Strenuous exercises generally raise one’s body temperature thus activating sweat glands to produce more sweat.

In an extreme case, you might be suffering from anhidrosis. This is a condition that affects one’s ability to sweat even when temperatures are extremely high. Anhidrosis can cause overheating in the body, a rash, dizziness, and even fainting. If you find that even after an intense workout you are not sweating a tall, please consult a doctor to rule out Anhidrosis.

Young beautiful sport woman wiping off sweat

Does Sweating Cause More Calorie Burn?

At the beginning of the article, I stated that how much you sweat is not a determining factor of how many calories you’re burning.  A study conducted at the Colorado State University tested this theory and showed that sweating is not an indication of how much calories are burned during a workout. In the study, a group of men and women were taken through a 90 minute Bikram workout class. After the class, results taken showed that women lost an average of 330 calories and men an average of 460 calories. This is way less that would have been expected to see as all the participants were drenched in sweat at the end of the workout.

Excessive sweating during a workout means that you lose water weight, not the real weight. This, in turn, leads to a temporary weight loss and as soon as you hydrate, that weight will come right back.

sweat in the sauna - why not?

Sauna two healthy beautiful women relaxing sweating lying covered towels


How To Increase Sweating During A Workout

We’ve established that sweating during a workout is important because it helps cool off your body. You can however not use sweating as an indicator of how efficient your workout regimen is. The best way to measure the impact of your workout through your heart rate and by ensuring you work out at your target heart rate. You can use a target heart rate calculator to determine which is ideal for you. This technique is however not 100% accurate so it’s important to pay attention to your body when working out.

If the reason you’re not sweating is because your body is not being challenged enough by the workout, change up your workout routine to a more exerting one and you will probably begin sweating more. For instance, if your routine is yoga and Pilates, try a more advanced class. If you normally ride a bike try more uphill rides that give you a greater challenge. Incorporating weights into your workout routine can also help intensify sweating during exercise.

Remember that when sweating, your body loses water and it’s, therefore, important to stay hydrated at all times. When you don’t have enough water in the body, your sweat will be very concentrated and once it evaporates will leave salt residue on your skin. Dehydration can have many other negative impacts to your body and more so when you’re exercising regularly.

Now that you know that there are various factors that influence how much you sweat when working out, you can focus on being healthy and enjoy your workout without stressing on how much sweat is coming out.