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Fitness Myths Exposed #2 "You Need to Break a Sweat for Exercise to Work"

Posted Oct 03 2012 8:15pm
Fitness Myth #2: You need to break a sweat for exercise to work. Many women think, If I’m not dripping with sweat, I’m not working hard enough.

But sweat isn’t a good indicator of how hard you’re working. That’s because too many factors affect perspiration, Repovich says. “People sweat at different rates.” Plus, weather – the temperature and humidity – makes a difference too.

A better measure of effort is your heart rate or the Borg Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE), which ranks how hard you feel your body is working. It’s based on several physical sensations, including increased heart and breathing rates and muscle fatigue. On a basic RPE scale, zero is “no effort,” such as sitting on a couch, and 10 is “exhaustion.” The recommended RPE for most people is usually 3 (moderate) to 5 (strong) Even easier? The talk test, During moderate-intensity exercise, you should be able to speak but not sing. Sweating is great for getting all the toxins out and it does make you feel great, but it's not the clear cut sign that you're working hard. 

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