Does intense sweating indicate a lack of fitness?

The subject of sweating is not a popular topic to be discussed in public. It’s just fraught with too many prejudices. Anyone who sweats is considered unhygienic and physically unfit. But is this really the case? It is a well-known fact that many prejudices contain a grain of truth.

Why the human body sweats

The human body has adapted over the course of evolution. He evolves to protect himself optimally. Sweating helps the body regulate its temperature, making it the body’s cooling system. So if you sweat, you are not in bad shape per se. Rather, it is the body that reacts proactively to the stress caused by the temperature and initiates cooling measures. The desired cooling occurs through the sweat evaporating on the skin, which avoids the unhealthy consequences of overheating.

sweating while exercising

Sweating during exercise is a natural and important process. Since it ensures the temperature regulation of the body, the sweat should not be wiped off constantly. If it remains on the skin, it can evaporate and bring cooling with it. Endurance training is an exception. Sweat contains salt particles, which can remain on the skin as a fine layer of salt over a longer period of time. So if you train for a long time, you risk clogging the pores by sweating and thus significantly less sweat can escape. In this case, it is therefore advisable to wipe off yourself in between or even to clean with a little water.

The body adapts

Regular exercise can encourage the body to sweat more because it develops a quick response to rising body temperature. Thus, one can conclude that a well-trained athlete sweats faster because his body’s cooling system is better trained. However, it does not mean that heavy sweating automatically means good fitness. A well-trained body secretes perspiration noticeably more than is the case with unsportsmanlike people. The body also learns to sweat more effectively. This means that it releases fewer important electrolytes when sweating. The proportion of electrolytes in sweat can therefore be viewed as an indicator of a person’s level of fitness.

Sweating and health related

Whether we sweat a lot or a little is primarily due to our genes. The number of sweat glands can differ from person to person, which is why we do not sweat as much. But there are other factors that influence sweat production: diseases and obesity. If you are overweight, physical activities entail greater exertion due to the increased body weight, which leads to more sweat. In this case, profuse sweating in relation to body weight can be an indicator of unfitness.

Sweat is important

Anyone who sweats little or not at all must take good care of themselves. Since the body’s cooling function does not work properly here, the circulatory system can collapse in the worst case. Because the heat is dissipated through the skin and the additional cooling through sweat ensures a regular body temperature. However, if overheating occurs, the metabolism is negatively affected. Regulating body temperature is therefore important to ensure sustained performance. Regular fluid intake will help. Especially when doing sports, the body constantly loses liquid through sweat, which we should compensate for by drinking.

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Name: Markus Gsell

Occupation: Operativer Leiter west update Fitness AG


Markus Gsell
Update Fitness

Since 1997, update Fitness has focused on the needs of its guests in order to be able to offer an optimal training experience in a pleasant atmosphere. Thanks to a network of locations in German and French-speaking Switzerland, update Fitness offers the greatest possible flexibility. With a subscription, guests train at all locations, use coaching, group fitness, daycare and online fitness – all inclusive.