(CARLSBAD, CA) – Whew! Working up a good sweat can be exhilarating. When you finish your exercise hour drenched in sweat, you feel like you’ve accomplished something. But, what does medical research have to say about sweat? What exactly is sweat? And how do you know if you’re sweating enough? Or too much?
Since every person’s body composition is different, your experience with sweat may be entirely different than the person on the treadmill next to you. Still, there are a few general principles that can provide answers to commonly asked sweaty questions.
1. What is sweat? Simply put, sweat is your body’s way of cooling itself. When your hard working muscles create excess heat, then your body produces perspiration – fluid largely composed of water – that is excreted through sweat glands in the skin. When the sweat evaporates from your skin, it actually removes heat, consequently cooling down your body.
2. Is all sweat the same? Our skin has two types of sweat glands. Eccrine glands, located all over the body, produce the clear, salty sweat that we are most familiar with. Meanwhile, apocrine glands are found on specific areas of the body, such as your scalp, underarms, and groin. These glands release a fatty sweat, which contains bacteria that is responsible for the foul odor we typically associate with sweat.
3. How much sweat is enough? It’s hard to say, since each individual’s body composition is unique. Sweat accumulates when your muscles are working hard. For that reason, breaking a sweat is a good sign. In fact, Jazzercise Founder and CEO Judi Sheppard Missett states that sweating is a positive indicator that your body’s cooling system is in working order.
4. What does sweat do? In addition to cooling down your body, sweat also serves as a natural detox. While 99 percent of the fluid excreted by eccrine glands is water, the other one percent is actually comprised of waste materials being released from the body.
5. Is it possible to sweat too much? Never use sweat as a means of weight loss. Wearing heavy clothing or specially designed bodysuits during exercise to increase sweat may shed initial pounds, but you’re only losing water weight. And your body needs those fluids! Whenever you are exercising, wear loose-fitting, comfortable clothing and drink plenty of liquids to balance the loss of fluids that occurs when you sweat.
Jazzercise, created by Judi Sheppard Missett, is the world's leading dance-fitness program with more than 7,500 instructors teaching 32,000 classes weekly in the U.S. and around the globe. Since 1969, millions of people of all ages and fitness levels have reaped the benefits of this comprehensive program, designed to enhance cardiovascular endurance, strength, and flexibility. For more information on Jazzercise go to jazzercise.com or call (800)FIT-IS-IT or (760)476-1750.