Do these thoughts look familiar?
If they do, do not worry. Although, these are common concerns for a lot of exercisers, they are actually just misconceptions.
More factors contribute to sweating during a workout than most of us want to believe. Though it would be nice to gauge our exercise intensity based on how much we sweat, many factors play into different rates of sweating. These include gender, age, weight, fitness level, genetics, clothing, temperature, and humidity.
So, why do we sweat? We sweat to cool the body to compensate for the rising of core temperature. Our bodies need to be cooled more or less depending on outside factors including temperature, clothing, humidity, fear, or stress; this is why sweat rates are different for everyone. Internal factors, such as gender, age, fitness level, weight and genetics are not as effortlessly controlled compared to the external factors. People who weigh more tend to sweat more because their bodies generally produce more heat. Gender related, men typically sweat more than women whereas specific to age, the younger population often produces more sweat than older populations.
We shouldn’t be concerned if we aren’t sweating much in a workout. It could simply mean we are working out in a cool area or near a fan, and our sweat is evaporating quickly enough to effectively regulate our body temperature. But on other days, when we sweat more than others during the exact same workout, the previously mentioned factors must be taken into consideration to make a fair comparison (of intensity and effort).
Instead of attributing increased sweat to working harder, it may simply be caused by better hydration prior to the workout, adaptation to the workout, a higher room temperature, or the relative humidity.
Check out our blog post next week on intensity levels to help gauge what intensity is best for you!
Key Word: Sweating