why do we sweat when we workout

Why do we sweat? The purpose of sweat is to cool the body by sitting on the surface of the skin and allowing heat to escape from the body. Effective sweating is when someone is glistening as the moisture forms a cooling film over the skin. When sweat reaches the 'dripping' stage the body is struggling to effectively control the body temperature and will be less effective at cooling the body down. Whether someone glistens or drips, however, is not indicative of how hard they are working, it merely indicates how effectively they sweat. Factors such as the humidity and temperature of the environment you are working in and the clothing worn also have a significant effect on sweat production. Sweating during workouts Work rate and sweating do not correlate together accurately, especially if you are getting back into exercise after a long period of inactivity. If you are starting aerobic exercise again after time away then you can sweat even if you aren't working particularly hard because it takes time for your sweating mechanisms to adapt to the workout. As you exercise aerobically for a consistent period of time, you will start to sweat 'better' and will not drip as much at the same intensity of exercise.


As well as this, the sweat becomes more dilute as you improve your sweating system. The Borg Scale Instead of taking sweating as an indicator of your exercise intensity levels, try using the Borg scale to measure your intensity levels. It gives a much more subjective indicator of effort because the feeling of fatigue is very highly correlated with heart rate. As you exercise, rate yourself between 6 and 20. If you can work hard enough to rate yourself between 12 and16 then you would be achieving the heart rate zone of 65-75% of your maximum heart rate:
BORG SCALE: 6, 7 - very, very light exertion 8, 9 - very light exertion 10, 11 - fairly light exertion 12, 13 - fairly hard exertion 14, 15 - hard exertion 16, 17 - very hard exertion 18, 19, 20 - very, very hard exertion Using such a scale would allow you to rate what intensity you are working at so you are aware of your training level. Remember that there are many extremely fit individuals sweat A LOT, regardless of exercise intensity or duration. This relates to their glands rather than their fitness, and is another reason why sweating proves to be an inaccurate measure of work rate.


Your recent workout left you sweating buckets that means it was great, right? Not necessarily. Sweat is not always a great indicator of how good your workout was, says Jessica Matthews, the s Senior Adviser on Health and Fitness. Then theres the common misconception that how much you sweat determines the amount of calories youve burned which is not always the case. RELATED: First, a lesson on why youre dripping (or staying pretty dry): is one way your body prevents itself from overheating, explains Matthews. When you exercise, your body literally heats up, stimulating your sweat response. Then, as sweat evaporates off your skin into the air, you cool yourself down. But its important to remember that each person is unique. Some people can be really sweaty even if theyre not being very physically active, [whereas] someone else can go to the gym for 60 minutes and look like they barely stepped out of the house, explains Matthews. And how much you sweat, or whats referred to as your rate of sweat, is determined by a slew of factors including temperature, humidity, and even how fit you are.


Generally, more physically fit people sweat sooner because their bodies thermoregulation aka air conditioning system turns on faster. But thats not always the case: So dont sweat not sweating just yet. RELATED: Does Sweating More Help You Burn More Calories? Because we often associate sweat with exercise, its easy to assume the two are related. The truth is, no matter how much or little you sweat, it doesnt always correlate to calories burned or how hard youre working, Matthews says. Take a or an on a scorching day, for example. Odds are, after youve finished, if you step on the scale youll notice youre a few pounds down. Keep in mind thats water weight not fat and is only a temporary loss. Once you rehydrate, youll gain it all back. In, Colorado State University researchers found that in a 90-minute Bikram class, men burned around 460 calories, while women averaged 330. Far fewer than youd think, right? Thats because heated classes are designed to improve muscle flexibility, not increase calorie burn. So while you may be sweating a lot more than you would in your typical power yoga class, you are likely burning less cals, since its a less rigorous form of yoga.


RELATED: What Really Matters With Calorie Burn Matthews cites that duration and intensity are the two most important factors for boosting (or measuring) caloric burn. For, the American College of Sports Medicine generally recommends 150 minutes of moderate intensity per week. But they note that you need more time on top of that (150 to 250+ minutes) if youre looking to lose weight. For, Matthews says weight load is a good measure. Generally, to build muscle, you want to lift a heavy enough weight you can do eight to 15 reps it should feel hard, but not entirely impossible. But all this doesnt mean you should forgo all workouts that dont make you sweat. Take, for instance. Youre barely breaking a sweat, but youre reaping quality, calming mind-body benefits. Plus, restorative yoga can help you burn fat, too. RELATED: So forget stressing about your sweat. Just keep moving. Remember: If youre trying to lose weight, its more often about upping the intensity, not doing everything you can to sweat more.

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