Get your sweat on…

21 Jun

 

earth_moon_sweating_oceans_1158115

 

London is trying it’s best to heat up, but this week we have just had “muggy” which gives us hot and sweaty journeys on the tube, sticky days spent in the office and even some restless nights. Sweating is mostly associated with feelings of discomfort and stress, whether it is physical  or emotional stress. I get asked about sweat regularly by my clients so I thought I would go through some basic facts to see if I can answer some of your questions.

 

What is sweat?

There are 5 million sweat glands in the body but not all of them produce the same kind of sweat.

Apocrine glands become active at puberty. From that sentence I am sure you can guess which sweat glands these are. They are mainly found in the arm pits and produce the smelly odour many of us worry about regularly, especially in stressful situations. This kind of sweat actually contains very little water, it is made up of proteins, lipids and hormones and is brought on in situations of high emotion, stress or exercise.

The second type of sweat glands are Eccrine glands. These are found all over the skin and start to function almost as soon as you are born. These sweat glands are responsible for keeping the body cool when it starts to heat up due to outside temperature, exercise, fever or anything else that causes the body’s temperature to rise by producing a dilute salt solution composed of 99% water. The eccrine glands produce a far larger amount of sweat that the apocrine glands in the arm pits but it is far less smelly!

 

Am I unfit if I sweat a lot?

For most of us, sweating is a pretty good determent of how hard we have worked when exercising am I right? It is actually a pretty good indicator as it shows you that the body has reached a temperature that it is uncomfortable at and it is attempting to cool down by causing the sweat to evaporate from the body as water. If you sweat a lot during physical activity, this is not a sign of decreased fitness!

 

Do men and women sweat differently?

Yes, this is absolutely true, men and women have different sweating patterns. The average male produces four times more sweat a day that a woman of the same age. Research is still ongoing as to why women need to exercise to a higher intensity than a man does in order to start sweating, but the guess is that the reasons are hormonal.

 

Does sweating burn fat?

In a nutshell the answer to this question is no. When you sweat, you are losing water, not fat however due to the loss of water the body is forced to find energy elsewhere, normally in the form of stored calories and body fat. So no, sweating itself does not burn fat but the act of sweating can help the body to burn fat in other ways. It is a sign of the muscles working hard if the body heats up to a temperature that the body sees as too high.

 

Remember that there is absolutely no reason that you should limit your water intake while trying to lose weight, in fact you should increase it. Feeling dehydrated can make you feel lethargic and lacking in energy, which leads you to reach for the comfort foods!!

Go and fill up that water bottle and … get your sweat on!

 

Advertisements