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Sweat as an indivation of calories burned?

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  • NorthCascadesNorthCascades Posts: 9,601Member Member Posts: 9,601Member Member
    One thing I notice every summer is I'll be riding around on my bike, creating a bit of a breeze because I'm going 15 or 20 mph through still air, and it's enough to cool me down. Then I'll hit a red light, stop, and begin to sweat. I don't think I'm burning more calories standing at a stop light than I am pedaling a bike 20 mph on the flat.
  • derek1237654derek1237654 Posts: 234Member, Premium Member Posts: 234Member, Premium Member
    Go google webmd top 9 fitness myths busted and you will see im not wrong
  • amusedmonkeyamusedmonkey Posts: 10,021Member Member Posts: 10,021Member Member
    Go google webmd top 9 fitness myths busted and you will see im not wrong

    Seriously?
  • NorthCascadesNorthCascades Posts: 9,601Member Member Posts: 9,601Member Member
    Go google webmd top 9 fitness myths busted and you will see im not wrong

    Can you help me understand how this is useful in the real world, because I'm baffled?
  • derek1237654derek1237654 Posts: 234Member, Premium Member Posts: 234Member, Premium Member
    Go google webmd top 9 fitness myths busted and you will see im not wrong

    Seriously?

    Yes it says NOT NECESSARILY
  • snickerscharliesnickerscharlie Posts: 8,550Member Member Posts: 8,550Member Member
    Go google webmd top 9 fitness myths busted and you will see im not wrong

    Seriously?

    Yes it says NOT NECESSARILY

    Pretty sure the "seriously?" is in regards to webmd being a terrible source for medical or scientific knowledge. ;)
  • amusedmonkeyamusedmonkey Posts: 10,021Member Member Posts: 10,021Member Member
    Go google webmd top 9 fitness myths busted and you will see im not wrong

    Seriously?

    Yes it says NOT NECESSARILY

    Pretty sure the "seriously?" is in regards to webmd being a terrible source for medical or scientific knowledge. ;)

    Exactly. That article looks like what you would see in a women's magazine and uses that same language. not to mention he is referencing something that totally contradicts the original hypothesis he is trying to make and prove not to be wrong.

    Here is what it says:
    Fitness Myth No. 6: If you're not working up a sweat, you're not working hard enough.
    "Sweating is not necessarily an indicator of exertion," says Tyne. "Sweating is your body’s way of cooling itself."

    It's possible to burn a significant number of calories without breaking a sweat: Try taking a walk or doing some light weight training.

    Gotta eyeroll at taking a walk or doing some light weight training burning a "significant" number of calories..

    In the same breath right after this:
    Fitness Myth No. 4: Swimming is a great weight loss activity.
    While swimming is great for increasing lung capacity, toning muscles, and even helping to burn off excess tension, Harr says the surprising truth is that unless you are swimming for hours a day, it may not help you lose much weight.

    "Because the buoyancy of the water is supporting your body, you're not working as hard as it would if, say, you were moving on your own steam -- like you do when you run," says Harr.
  • NorthCascadesNorthCascades Posts: 9,601Member Member Posts: 9,601Member Member
    You can spend the day walking at a moderate pace and burn significant calories. It's called hiking. :)
  • amusedmonkeyamusedmonkey Posts: 10,021Member Member Posts: 10,021Member Member
    You can spend the day walking at a moderate pace and burn significant calories. It's called hiking. :)

    Oh trust me, I know about that all too well (thank you hiking for my achilles :sweat:).
  • moe0303moe0303 Posts: 933Member Member Posts: 933Member Member
    One thing I notice every summer is I'll be riding around on my bike, creating a bit of a breeze because I'm going 15 or 20 mph through still air, and it's enough to cool me down. Then I'll hit a red light, stop, and begin to sweat. I don't think I'm burning more calories standing at a stop light than I am pedaling a bike 20 mph on the flat.

    This is not relevant to the point of the OP. He basically acknowledges that environmental factors play into sweat production.
  • moe0303moe0303 Posts: 933Member Member Posts: 933Member Member
    Go google webmd top 9 fitness myths busted and you will see im not wrong

    Can you help me understand how this is useful in the real world, because I'm baffled?

    Meh, not very useful to most people, but large differences in sweat production under similar environmental conditions could be an easy indicator for the novice. I think that is what he is getting at.

    Example, if you are someone who usually goes to the gym and walks on the treadmill for 20 minutes and sweats profusely then a day later you walk your 20 minutes on the treadmill but you're looking on your phone the whole time and your shirt is totally dry, you might have a good reason to doubt your intensity and the resultant calories burn.

    Now, an indicator isn't proof, it's more akin to circumstantial evidence, but it might be a starting point.
  • robertw486robertw486 Posts: 2,115Member, Greeter Member Posts: 2,115Member, Greeter Member
    Having done a lot of workouts in the climate control of our home, I think it's a decent indicator of intensity level. I could pretty much bet money and the pace required during steady state on the elliptical to get the sweat dripping. Tough intervals will obviously skew things, but in the overall scheme if I'm sweating much I know I'm over a X MPH/watts output pace.


    I think that the wind on the bike outside vs doing that same intensity inside would result in heavy pools of sweat indoors without that wind. It would be interesting to test people at high intensities with a big cooling fan vs none, and see how much it impacts pace vs perceived exertion.
  • Noreenmarie1234Noreenmarie1234 Posts: 4,930Member Member Posts: 4,930Member Member
    robertw486 wrote: »
    Having done a lot of workouts in the climate control of our home, I think it's a decent indicator of intensity level. I could pretty much bet money and the pace required during steady state on the elliptical to get the sweat dripping. Tough intervals will obviously skew things, but in the overall scheme if I'm sweating much I know I'm over a X MPH/watts output pace.


    I think that the wind on the bike outside vs doing that same intensity inside would result in heavy pools of sweat indoors without that wind. It would be interesting to test people at high intensities with a big cooling fan vs none, and see how much it impacts pace vs perceived exertion.

    I agree this would be very interesting to see.
  • NorthCascadesNorthCascades Posts: 9,601Member Member Posts: 9,601Member Member
    moe0303 wrote: »
    Example, if you are someone who usually goes to the gym and walks on the treadmill for 20 minutes and sweats profusely then a day later you walk your 20 minutes on the treadmill but you're looking on your phone the whole time and your shirt is totally dry, you might have a good reason to doubt your intensity and the resultant calories burn.

    Thanks for giving a scenario. I was scratching my head to think of one. Not sure I'm entirely convinced by this one, but I appreciate the help along the way from abstract and weak correlation to real world.

    I'll play devil's advocate for a moment and suggest that the distance you cover in 20 minutes is probably a more reliable indicator of effort than how sweaty you got. I'm really skeptical about conditions ever being the same, like the rock climbing gym I used to go to was warmer (and stinkier) when more people were there.
  • lemurcat12lemurcat12 Posts: 30,886Member Member Posts: 30,886Member Member
    Yeah, I really can't think of a scenario when the sweat would be the most reliable indicator. Both my house and my gym vary in temperature/humidity depending on various factors, the Computrainer sessions I sometimes go to vary based on how close you are to the fan, and the majority of the exercise I do is outside. I was just out running and sweating way more than usual, but it's because it's humid and I'm not used to the humidity. (Humidity--when I'm not yet used to it--actually does make me feel like I'm working harder too, but I'm going to look to my HRM as well as distance and time for that analysis.)
    edited May 2016
  • moe0303moe0303 Posts: 933Member Member Posts: 933Member Member
    lemurcat12 wrote: »
    Yeah, I really can't think of a scenario when the sweat would be the most reliable indicator. Both my house and my gym vary in temperature/humidity depending on various factors, the Computrainer sessions I sometimes go to vary based on how close you are to the fan, and the majority of the exercise I do is outside. I was just out running and sweating way more than usual, but it's because it's humid and I'm not used to the humidity. (Humidity--when I'm not yet used to it--actually does make me feel like I'm working harder too, but I'm going to look to my HRM as well as distance and time for that analysis.)

    Yeah, I don't think any of us would call it the most reliable method. I think the OP called its negative a half-truth. It's just a very general indication.

    Maybe this question might help:
    Does the likelihood of sweat rise or fall with increased intensity and time?

    ETA: Likewise, does the potential for caloric burn rise or fall with an increase in intensity and time?
    edited May 2016
  • lemurcat12lemurcat12 Posts: 30,886Member Member Posts: 30,886Member Member
    moe0303 wrote: »
    lemurcat12 wrote: »
    Yeah, I really can't think of a scenario when the sweat would be the most reliable indicator. Both my house and my gym vary in temperature/humidity depending on various factors, the Computrainer sessions I sometimes go to vary based on how close you are to the fan, and the majority of the exercise I do is outside. I was just out running and sweating way more than usual, but it's because it's humid and I'm not used to the humidity. (Humidity--when I'm not yet used to it--actually does make me feel like I'm working harder too, but I'm going to look to my HRM as well as distance and time for that analysis.)

    Yeah, I don't think any of us would call it the most reliable method. I think the OP called its negative a half-truth. It's just a very general indication.

    Maybe this question might help:
    Does the likelihood of sweat rise or fall with increased intensity and time?

    ETA: Likewise, does the potential for caloric burn rise or fall with an increase in intensity and time?

    For me weather seems to make way more of a difference with sweat. Since I start with a workout plan, if I sweat more than expected I'm more likely to make a conclusion about the weather/conditions than intensity. I know my planned intensity and there are other indicators I will notice first if I am working harder than expected.

    It's been humid and windy here (sarcastic yay), and yesterday I did a 3.5 hour bike ride followed by a 30 minute run. Because of the wind I didn't sweat nearly as much during the bike, although that was the hard part of the workout, as the brief run after (which I intentionally did slowly and was not intended to be intense). I worked harder on the bike ride for sure.
  • moe0303moe0303 Posts: 933Member Member Posts: 933Member Member
    lemurcat12 wrote: »
    moe0303 wrote: »
    lemurcat12 wrote: »
    Yeah, I really can't think of a scenario when the sweat would be the most reliable indicator. Both my house and my gym vary in temperature/humidity depending on various factors, the Computrainer sessions I sometimes go to vary based on how close you are to the fan, and the majority of the exercise I do is outside. I was just out running and sweating way more than usual, but it's because it's humid and I'm not used to the humidity. (Humidity--when I'm not yet used to it--actually does make me feel like I'm working harder too, but I'm going to look to my HRM as well as distance and time for that analysis.)

    Yeah, I don't think any of us would call it the most reliable method. I think the OP called its negative a half-truth. It's just a very general indication.

    Maybe this question might help:
    Does the likelihood of sweat rise or fall with increased intensity and time?

    ETA: Likewise, does the potential for caloric burn rise or fall with an increase in intensity and time?

    For me weather seems to make way more of a difference with sweat. Since I start with a workout plan, if I sweat more than expected I'm more likely to make a conclusion about the weather/conditions than intensity. I know my planned intensity and there are other indicators I will notice first if I am working harder than expected.

    It's been humid and windy here (sarcastic yay), and yesterday I did a 3.5 hour bike ride followed by a 30 minute run. Because of the wind I didn't sweat nearly as much during the bike, although that was the hard part of the workout, as the brief run after (which I intentionally did slowly and was not intended to be intense). I worked harder on the bike ride for sure.

    Again, not intended to be accurate or conclusive but only an indicator.

    I'll go ahead and answer the questions I asked:

    The likelihood of sweat and calorie burn both increase in correlation to an increase in intensity and time.
    edited May 2016
  • tomtebodatomteboda Posts: 2,176Member Member Posts: 2,176Member Member
    People's sweat relies upon the number and type of sweat glands they possess. Some sweat heavily with little exertion or heat, others barely sweat with significant body stress. The variability between individuals of physiology in both structure and function/response suggests to me that sweat itself would make a poor quantitative measure for energy expenditure.
    edited May 2016
  • 2snakeswoman2snakeswoman Posts: 653Member Member Posts: 653Member Member
    Not at all applicable to me. I am in a weird menopausal stage of breaking a profuse sweat all of a sudden for no apparent reason.
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