If you’re like most people, you think that the more you sweat when you work out the more weight you will lose. You’ve seen those people at the gym or out jogging, you know the ones, wearing rubber suits or extra sweatshirts in the hot sun to lose a few extra pounds. Believe it or not, the myth isn’t true. They really aren’t helping themselves.
Can Sweating Too Much During Exercise Be Dangerous To Your Health?
When you work out, you really want to avoid being drenched in sweat whenever you can. Losing heat through sweat expends energy. Your sweat glands, millions of them just under the skin, require metabolic energy to excrete sweat. This energy is drained from the total energy you have available for your workout. You are subtracting energy that would otherwise be available to your muscles. If too much energy is wasted sweating, then there isn’t enough left for other functions of the body. The total amount of work you can do lessens when sweat glands use too much energy. When you get totally exhausted and your sweat glands stop secreting, you risk heat stroke.
When you overheat like this, you also risk loss of energy in your cardiovascular system. When your skin gets hot, the peripheral vessels leading to your skin open up. A large amount of your blood supply rushes to the surface of your body. Your muscles, which really need the blood at this point, don’t get it. Your heart tries to make up for the needed blood in the muscles by pumping harder. If you overload your heart like this for too long, you could collapse or possibly even die. Sweating more on purpose, by wearing extra layers of clothing, is dangerous and makes no contribution to fitness.
The best clothing you can wear when exercising in hot weather is bare skin. Wear shorts and a t-shirt or tank top. This goes for indoor exercise as well. Anytime you are outside exerting yourself, whether you are jogging, playing tennis or just gardening, try to wear lightweight, light-colored clothing. The difference between wearing a dark shirt and a light shirt can be significant.
When you work out, there is no danger to being comfortable and cool. Being uncomfortably warm, though, can be a problem. It can even be a problem when sleeping. Believe it or not, if you use an electric blanket at night and turn it up too high, to the point where you sweat in your sleep, you could be draining your energy all night when you should be recuperating. This is yet another example of how overheating the body intentionally is bad for you.
But wait, you say, isn’t the point of working out to make your heart work? Does it matter that your heart is working harder sweating as opposed to pumping blood to muscles? Yes, it does. When you exercise normally, you can control slow your heart rate if you need to just by stopping or slowing down your exercise. When you overload your heart by overheating the body, there’s no way to stop the process.
Sweating does burn calories, but it’s a dangerous way to lose weight. Do this and you just might have the best figure in the morgue. Although that is a remote possibility, why take a chance? Always remember that you only have so much energy to burn. It takes a lot of energy to lose heat. If you waste all of your energy sweating, you won’t have enough to finish your exercise. Lose those sweat suits and rubberized sweat garments! Your body will thank you and your workout will improve.