Good question, right? We’re in the thick of summertime and the heat and humidity is high. If we’re active or even just out and about in it, it can feel like we are burning more calories and using more energy. But are we really?
Well, no. Sweat is not a gauge of how hard you are working. Your body sweats as a mechanism to cool you down, so it’s really only an indicator of how hot your core body temperature is. Hotter core temperature does not equate to more calories burned.
Your threshold for sweat is unique to you – and variables include the number of sweat glands you have, your fitness level, and your hydration level.
The real question here is “How hard are you working?” Exercise intensity, rather than the temperature of the environment you’re doing it in, is the variable for calories burned during exercise.
Not to mention, as your body becomes more conditioned, it takes a higher intensity of exercise to raise your core body temperature and produce sweat.
You may sweat more with a more strenuous workout, but sweat alone is not the indicator of a more effective exercise session.
Of course, with higher intensity exercise, you want to be sure that your body can handle the increase of intensity, as well.
I teach and coach my clients through a progression of working from where you are today, making sure a good, solid and stable foundation is laid in your body before increasing exercise intensity. This is to avoid injury and promote sustainability. Fitness is a lifestyle that has many forms, and it’s always better when you can do exercise with “the long haul” in mind.