Myth: Sweating and shaping
Sweating does burn calories, but it is a dangerous way to reduce weight, say fitness experts.Updated: May 24, 2003 19:53 IST
Sweating gets you in shape
The basic rule of working out is to avoid excessive sweating whenever possible. Energy is required to cool the system. This energy comes from the activity of your sweat glands, millions of them lying just under your skin that use metabolic energy to secrete sweat.
This energy is drained from the total energy you have at your command to do the work of your body. Your muscles have to share in this energy in order to function properly. If a disproportionate share of that energy is used to secrete sweat, then there isn’t enough left for your other bodily functions.
The amount of work you can do lessens when sweat glands use energy. When exhausted, they stop secreting, and you are in peril of a heat stroke.
The second loss of energy when you are over-heated is in the cardiovascular system. When the skin gets hot, the peripheral vessels leading to the skin open. Blood supply rushes to the surface of your body.
This deprives the muscles of the blood they need. The heart tries to make up for the loss by pumping harder. The load becomes so great that if it is maintained for a prolonged period you could collapse. Inducing sweat is dangerous- and it makes no contribution to fitness.
Sweating does make the heart work harder, which is an objective of a fitness workout, but it does so in a hazardous manner. Sweating does burn calories, but it is a dangerous way to reduce weight.
First Published: May 24, 2003 19:53 IST