‘I was walking in the treadmill at home for 10 min , I was at least sweating and I felt nice. When I do yoga, I don’t even sweat’
‘What has sweat got to do with this?’ I asked.
‘Only if you sweat, will you burn fat’, I was told.
We must have read a lot of fitness myths like this and may be some of us also follow or believe it too.
‘Sweat is just fat crying’.
‘Sweat it out’.
‘Sweat excretes toxins’.
When I felt I heard lots of similar myths, I decided to do a series of posts where I will burst some of the common myths we have about fitness.
What is sweat?
It is a mechanism by which our body reduces its temperature. We lose water, electrolytes and trace minerals through sweat glands and not toxins, whereas fat is burnt inside cells for energy. If you are sweating after a high intensity workout like trekking, running marathon or lifting weights, the chances are high that your body is also burning some fat. However, sweat by itself, is no means a good measure of how much fat is burnt or how effective your activity is.
Does sweat burn fat?
Compelling your body to sweat by sitting in sauna room, wearing sauna belt, performing hot yoga or working out in a gym without air-condition, walking/running in hot and humid conditions will put your body under stress, cause fatigue and dehydration resulting in headaches, nausea, loss of electrolytes, or heat stroke . This hampers performance and reduces immunity.
Instead of your body focusing on burning fat and conditioning your muscle, the focus is on sweat and to keep your core temperature normal.
Losing weight by using sauna belts /sauna room is just the water weight and not body fat. The water weight will bounce back as soon as you hydrate yourself.
Even if you are not sweating a drop while swimming, doing yoga, working out and lifting weights in an air-conditioned gym your body is still burning fat, perhaps more efficiently than what it will in a hot environment.
If at all sweating could make us thin, pretty much everyone in Chennai, Kerala, Mumbai, and other parts of coastal India would be stick thin.
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