Between hot yoga and steamy cycle classes, there are a lot of great workouts from which to choose in order to reach your fitness goals.
And, we want to be efficient. So, we’re asking the question: Do you have to sweat to get a good workout?
For some fitness fanatics, it’s not even a question.
“If I sweat, I do feel like I’m getting my workout in,” said Tywon Thompson, a running coach with November Project Dallas.
For many, the barometer for feeling the burn is seeing sweat stains.
“Obviously, sometimes it’s kind of cold,” said Hayden King. “You just really don’t feel the sweat.”
King is right. What happens when we don’t leave the gym dripping sweat? Does it mean we didn’t get in a good enough workout?
To Verify, we dug up research from The American College of Sports Medicine; The University of California San Diego; and talked to Dr. Jeff Weinstein, liver specialist at Methodist Dallas.
On average, people have 2 to 4 million sweat glands, broken into two type: Eccrine and Apocrine.
While the body’s temperature can stimulate glands, apocrine glands are also triggered by stress, anxiety and fluctuating hormones. That’s why we can sweat just sitting around.
“To achieve cardiovascular health and fitness you don’t need to sweat,” Weinstein said.
If that’s the case, then why do so many people think sweat matters?
“You feel like, ‘I did something!’ But that doesn’t achieve a state of physical fitness just by sweating by itself. There has to be something else to go with it,” Weinstein added.
Something physical—just not necessarily strenuous.
A study from the University of California San Diego found that restorative yoga can help to burn fat when you barely break a sweat!
“When you lose weight with sweat, you primarily lose water weight,” Weinstein explained. “And losing water weight is transient.”
And, don’t be fooled into thinking that sweating equals detoxing. Sweat—made up of water, sodium and other substances—cools you down. It’s your body’s response to getting overheated.
So, if we’re not ‘sweating it out’—how do you truly detox?
“The kidneys and the liver are the two most important organs when it comes down to detoxifying,” Weinstein explained. “The liver takes something toxic – metabolizes it, makes it non-toxic, and then your body excretes it.”
To maintain healthy liver and kidneys, doctors suggest a clean diet, reducing alcohol intake and staying active to avoid obesity.
So, back to our Verify question: Do you have to sweat to get a good workout?
“No. Absolutely not. You don’t have to sweat,” Weinstein said.
So, sweating won’t make you healthier… but it may make your mind happier.
“But I just feel like sweating feels even better,” said runner Carina Torres.