“Let’s go to the gym and work up a sweat”.
So, does this mean that if you don’t get “sweaty Betty”, you may as well not have bothered going?
Definitely not! You can still burn energy/fat and not perspire!
Perspiring is your body’s way of cooling itself, similar to the fan on a car cutting in. If this didn’t happen, you’d overheat and collapse (just like the cars you see at the side of the road steaming). Cool temperatures keep perspiration down but your heart can be beating just as high as if you were out in the tropics!
Who sweats more – the ‘fit’ or the ‘unfit’?
We’ll use the word “perspire” as it sounds much better than “sweat” but in essence, it’s the same. Depending on age, fitness level, gender and the environment, perspiration is different from person to person. You therefore cannot compare and say he/she is not fit because they sweat a lot or don’t sweat at all. We all sweat at our own rate. That said, the fitter you get, the quicker and more you will sweat from your own base level.
The body does not like its internal temperature to change, and as you increase your fitness the body becomes better at maintaining its internal temperature by sweating sooner and more, thereby dissipating the increased heat from exercise faster and more effectively. So more sweat is a sign of fitness (but only when compared to your ‘base’ sweat level).
Furthermore, exercising in air conditioned rooms or cold air means you will not perspire as much because your body does not get as hot and the air will evaporate any “water”. With the science “hat” on, this is known as radiation – heat “radiating” out of the skin when the air around you is cooler than your body. However, in humid climates, the perspiration can’t evaporate and that’s why it drips off you (nice!).
So, it’s important to note that the amount you perspire depends more on the conditions you are exercising in (outdoor sin the hot sun versus indoors in an air-conditioned room) than on the energy you’re burning – when you exercise, you are sweating all the time, but it is evaporating more or less depending on what conditions you are in.
Did you know…
- Perspiration is made up of water, potassium and salt? It varies in every person.
- The average person has 2.6 million sweat glands
Losing excessive amounts of water makes you dehydrated, so ensure you’re taking enough water on board when you exercise. Also, due to the loss of the salt and other minerals, it is important to replace salt in your diet. This is not just any salt or any salt you buy from supermarkets. Salt, found naturally and unprocessed, contains many trace elements including potassium and sodium chloride. Trace elements are important for the body but get stripped out of processed salt and sold to the vitamin companies. Adding real salt to your diet (salt that is still grey and damp) will give your body all it needs. Click here for a site about real, natural salt.