Your Fitness Routine Should Do More
Sweat equals success...not so fast
..Than just make you sweat. Sweating is usually a tell tale sign up a successful workout. However, one can usually work up a sweat by simply walking around the block in the heat of summer (Especially in Florida!). Two types of sweat glands can be found on the human body: eccrine glands and apocrine glands. The eccrine sweat glands are distributed over much of the body and they produce the perspiration you see during exercise. This production of sweat is to aid in thermoregulation via cooling from water evaporation on the skin. Fun Fact: People have an average of two to four million sweat glands.
“How much one may sweat during exercise is due to a number of factors, including gender (men tend to sweat more than women) and age as well as genetics and temperature, including humidity.”
Sweat is mostly water mixed with small amounts of minerals. A micro-fluidic model of the eccrine sweat gland provides details on what solutes partition into sweat, their mechanisms of partitioning, and their fluidic transport to the skin surface. Within the fluid are minerals and lactic acid. Although the mineral content varies, some specific concentrations include: sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium. These should be familiar if you know anything about electrolytes and the famous Gatorade push but we’ll save that for another post. They are also responsible for leaving any stains on your clothing. Some of us celebrate the obvious “sweat stains” while others hide them away.
With all of that, sweating is not a tell tale sign of how intense your workout was but is a good gauge for knowing when your body is warm enough to begin performing movements of higher exertion. For instance, you should not roll out of bed or stand immediately from your desk at work and begin performing jump squats. Your body has not had the proper time to increase it’s body temperature and circulate blood and water through the muscle groups for that explosive movement.
Bringing it all home. When it comes to your fitness routine don’t stop at sweating. Perspiration is a natural bodily function as is walking and movement. Our bodies were made to move, sweat and be replenished with healthy cycles of eating. Learn your levels of exertion from your fastest move to your most powerful moves that take more time. Your exercise should teach you to reach for higher levels, not stay at the surface sweat level and be content with the minimum effort to get there. Learn that your body needs more water, needs better sleep, needs cleaner eating.
Do more, overcome more and achieve MORE. Sweat is just the start.