Of course, you may not want to tell that to your friend who boasts about how sweaty she gets when she goes for a run or to a hot yoga class. The truth is that sweating is really just your body’s way of cooling yourself down. It’s not tied to your caloric burn.
If it were, then sitting in a sauna while you text your friend would be a great workout.
If you really want to know how many calories you’re burning when you workout, you’ll need a heart rate monitor.
Many fitness trackers include a heart rate monitor to show calorie burn estimates. Some work better than others. In fact, the most reliable heart rate monitors are the ones that you strap around your chest. It reads your heart rate with technology similar to an EKG.
So don’t panic if you’re not a big sweater. Some people don’t sweat a lot when they work out.
If you do sweat a lot, make sure you drink plenty of water before, during and after your workout. Most people only need to drink water to stay hydrated. If you’re an athlete, you may need to drink water with electrolytes.
If you don’t know how hard you should be working out, ask your health provider. If you’re just starting an exercise program, it’s important to start slowly and gradually increase your intensity. On the other hand, you want to make sure you’re elevating your heart rate enough to reap the benefits of exercise.
And, any exercise, no matter how little, is better than no activity.
+ Read about how reaching your target heart rate can help long-term weight loss.