So hopefully you have been all sticking to your new year’s resolutions. Have been sweating away hard in the gym and fitness classes for the first few weeks of 2012?
But have you ever wondered just why we sweat so much when we are exercising?
Well your body can be thought of as an engine, and like all engines it produces heat. In a car, the cooling system makes sure it doesn’t overheat and that’s why you have to keep the coolant level topped up.
Your body on the other hand uses a number of ways to stay within its safe working temperature. And one of these methods is sweating.
The actual technical term for what happens in evaporation. Water from your blood absorbs the heat and rises to the surface of the skin through the sweat glands so that it can evaporate and create a cooling effect.
Sweat is composed mostly of water but also has small amounts of elements such as sodium chloride (salt), potassium, lactic acid and ammonia.
Humans can have between two to five million sweat glands. Women tend to sweat less and begin to sweat at higher temperatures compared to men.
It is of course important that you replace the fluid you loose when you sweat (water being the best method). And if you are exercising for an hour and a half or more you may also have to replace the electrolytes too (this can be done by having a sports drink).
Did you know that the fitter you become the more efficient your body becomes at sweating? You’ll probably notice that as your training comes along you will actually start sweating sooner into your workout.
So at the end of your next workout don’t worry if you’re drenched! You’re on the right track to a fitter future.