You may be tempted to wonder: Am I out of shape? Or did I just work harder than anyone else?
The truth is that we all sweat at somewhat different rates. If you sweat more than anyone else around you, there may be a few different reasons.
First things first: Why do we sweat?
People sweat to regulate our body’s internal temperature when it starts to rise. This is because the body wants to maintain its temperature within a certain range to protect cells and tissues from damage and to maintain the proper functioning of enzymes so that they can perform various chemical reactions and biological functions in the body.
“Sweating is the way our bodies release heat to maintain our homeostasis and internal temperature,” says Tom Holland, MS, CSCS, CISSN, exercise physiologist and author of numerous books, including The Micro-Workout plan. But it is not really the sweat that cools us – it is the evaporation of sweat that releases heat, he explains.
Holland says this mechanism of sweat makes the human body extremely efficient at cooling down, compared to many other animals. For example, dogs can not sweat. Instead, they catch a cold by panting, which is a much less effective procedure. “Our ability to regulate our body temperature through sweating is one of the reasons anthropologists believe we were actually born to run,” Holland said.
Why do some of us sweat more than others?
Holland says there are three common reasons why someone sweats more than those around them, despite being in the same environment and doing the same workout: being taller, taller or in better shape.
“Higher levels of sweat are found in people with larger bodies (more heat is produced and more surface area needs to be cooled), in the elderly due to reduced age-related heat tolerance and, conversely, in people who are in better physical condition,” he says. . “The more fit you are, the faster you sweat as the body tries to cool down as quickly as possible.”
What does it mean to sweat more than you used to, even though you do the same workout you did? According to Holland, it could be indicative of a few things. “First, you have increased your level of fitness and your body has made this positive adjustment. Second, you may be “under the weather” with a low-grade illness such as the flu or cold. “Third, your hormones can be a factor, especially in menopausal women.”
Holland says heavy sweating alone is not generally a concern and can often mean that hard work pays off. However, if you sweat suddenly very more than you did or much more than an average of 0.8 to 1.4 liters per hour, suggests contacting your healthcare provider.
What if you sweat a little during your workout?
So, if heavy sweating can be a sign of fitness, if you do not sweat much, does that mean you are not in shape or that you are not training well?
According to Holland, just because you do not sweat does not mean that you do not work hard or do a great workout. “Heart rate and perceptual effort are the two most important measures to look out for during exercise,” he says. “If you exercise in a cool environment with low humidity, there is less heat pressure on the body and as a result you will sweat less.”
Whether you sweat a lot or just sweat, the important thing is to replace the lost fluids. Holland says that a good rule of thumb is to follow the “one pound per pound” directive. “If you weighed yourself before and after a sweaty workout and lost two pounds (this is liquid, not body fat), you would want to stay hydrated with two glasses of fluid,” says Holland.
Stay hydrated, enjoy your workouts and do not worry if your shirt is wetter than any other. This is the sign of your physical condition!
Do you feel ready to sweat? Try this HIIT workout with trainer Charlee Atkins:
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