Let play fitness myth busters… As I write this it is over 70 degrees, which in the Pacific Northwest, means HEAT WAVE. This 80 degree heat wave is all people talk about, and these conversations usually lead to people discussing the best way to keep cool. Well I have a natural solution, it is called sweating. That’s right our body has a way to cool itself using evaporation. But here is where the myth begins, many people actually think they are incapable of sweating. I hear it all the time, “I don’t really sweat that much”, or my favorite, “sweating is so gross”. Sure no one wants to be sweating while at work or on a date. But in the gym, sweating is not gross at all, in fact if you are not sweating, you are not working hard enough! It’s true, our bodies are designed to sweat, believe it or not, sweating make us human!
Think you can’t sweat? Well did you know that your body contains over 2-million sweat glands? It’s true, the ability to regulate our body’s temperature effectively has been critical for not only our species survival, it has allowed us humans to thrive! In fact, the argument has been made that because of sweating we were able to rise to the top of the food chain by doing persistence hunting. Persistence hunting is a technique where our early ancestors literately chased animals to sheer exhaustion. Most wild animals are very ineffective at using sweat to regulate body temperature and as a result, they are prone to suffer from heat exhaustion very quickly. So our early ancestors would literately chase these animals for many miles during the midday heat. Eventually the animals would overheat, and just stop,”dead in their tracks”. The persistence hunters would then walk right up to the animal and take care of business.
So to say or think that you “just don’t sweat” is false. Sweating is in our DNA, it is a part of who we are. Sure women sweat less than men but they still sweat. So here is the deal, if you find yourself not sweating during your next workout one of two things is most likely going on:
- You are dehydrated– The human body is comprised of about 60% water. That is a lot of water, which means that proper hydration is necessary for optimal health. So this means that being dehydrated will have an extremely negative effect on your health! So drink drink up, just don’t drink too much!
- You are not pushing yourself hard enough – Let’s break it down. You are either not pushing yourself very hard (most likely) or you are broken (highly unlikely). Let’s hope that you are just not pushing very hard because that is a simple fix. However if you are in fact “broken” you are saying that you cannot do one of the most basic human functions (2-million glands not working?). That is scary. Ironically if your A/C was broken in your car you would fix that in a heart beat but if your bodies “A/C” is broken, your answer – refuse to move. Things that make you go hmm…
But regardless, either situation is bad and either situation is likely a major factor in preventing you from reaching your fitness goals. But sweating does more than just regulate body temperature it also:
- Helps you expel toxins from the body
- Improves the look of your skin by clearing pores
- Helps kill viruses and bacteria as a result of increased body temperature
- Improves your love life – Couples that Sweat together, stay together
So here is the challenge – first make sure you are well hydrated and then push yourself till you are drenched in sweat. Remember we have 2-million sweat glands, put them to good use. Are strong enough both mentally and physically leave a workout looking like you just jumped into a pool? I am challenging you to find out if your sweat glands are working properly! So embrace the sweat, it does a body good. But most importantly never, ever, forget that:
Luck is a function of sweat, the more you sweat, the luckier you get!