Ask Dr. Nandi: Does sweating mean a more intense workout?

(WXYZ) - If you’re exercising and sweat is pouring off you, does that mean you’re getting a good workout?

I can understand why sweating makes people feel like they’re working hard. But sweat has nothing to do with how intense your workout is. Or how many calories your body is burning. You could be getting a great workout and hardly break a sweat. 

There are different reasons as to why people perspire more than others.

If you’re male, you’re more likely to sweat more than females. If you’re younger, you’re more likely to sweat more than older people, and if you’re heavy-set, you’re more likely to sweat because your body will produce more heat. 

Other reasons are the temperature, humidity, genetics and how fit you are. You may be surprised to learn those who are fit, tend to sweat more abundantly and sooner than those who are not. 

If you don’t like how much you sweat, there are steps you can take to reduce it:

Partha’s RX

  1. Watch what you eat. Spicy or strong-smelling foods and caffeinated drinks may make your body sweat and smell more than usual.
  2. Use an antiperspirant instead of a deodorant as they temporarily block sweat pores.  You can also talk to your Doctor about aluminum chloride which is a prescription antiperspirant.
  3. Shower with soap every day. You’ll reduce the growth of bacteria found normally on your skin which can cause body odor.
  4. Chose fabrics that allow your skin to breathe. Try synthetics like polyester or Lycra as they were developed to pull moisture away from your skin.

If it’s unusual for you, yes too much sweating OR too little sweating may be concerning. Excessive sweating is called hyperhidrosis. Too little sweating is called anhidrosis. 

If you have changes in body odor, this may also be a sign of a medical problem. If you’re concerned, talk to your doctor. They’ll look for conditions like an infection, overactive thyroid and diabetes.  

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