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Do You Have to Sweat to Get a Good Workout

Question: The topic at lunch today was "sweating during exercise." I complained about how warm it's been in the gym, causing me to sweat profusely during workouts. My friends swear that the hotter you are the more your heart rate is elevated and the better the workout; one, who is a fitness buff from way back, even wears extra clothes on purpose to make herself sweat more. Have I missed something somewhere? They say that you "sweat out impurities" and sweating is essential to effective exercise. I maintain that one's workouts are just as effective in a cooler environment--that the sweating itself is not indicative of how effectively you are working out, but the temperature of the room. Why not be as comfortable as possible?

Answer: I agree with you. The more comfortable you are during the workout, the better -- and the more likely you are to keep doing it on a regular basis. Using a heart monitor can be a more accurate way to make sure you're exercising at an appropriate intensity. After all, it's fat you want to lose, not water. As for sweating out impurities, take a steam bath and relax after your workout for a really great post-workout high. Drink lots of water!

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