Aren’t you just working hard enough? Or is the class too easy for you? Maybe. But according to Hospital for Special Surgery Exercise physiologist Matthew Asseta, MS, CSCS * D, the most likely culprit is simple: dehydration.
“Although the level of sweat certainly varies from person to person, most of the time when someone Is not Sweating is caused by dehydration, ”he said. “The body is not full of fluid, so it is trying to hold on to what it has.”
So if you know you’re usually a sweater today, don’t forget to hit the shower and refill your water bottle – and keep drinking extra 24 hours after your workout. Accetta suggests creating (or modifying) a “hydration plan” before your next session: “It’s not uncommon to not get enough water in a day,” says Accetta. “I know I’m guilty of it myself and my clients too.” But if it becomes a regular habit, you will want to find a way to kick it out before it causes any serious complications.
What if there is no dehydration?
Of course, not getting enough is not the only reason you sweat less than usual.
The weather is an obvious one. Since sweat is an important way of controlling the internal temperature of the human body, the level of sweat tends to go up or down depending on your workout environment. The colder the air around you, the less you have to sweat — and vice versa. Accetta adds that humidity (or lack thereof) may be another factor. “The more humid the air, the faster you will start sweating,” he said.
Accetta also mentions that people start sweating more at the beginning of adolescence – as they get older. “As the body ages, the need to thermoregulate and return to homeostasis is greater,” he says. “That’s why older people sweat more and children sweat less.” So if you are the youngest in your workout class, it is not out of the question that you can be the driest.
Keep in mind that, in rare cases, certain medications or thyroid problems can actually cause you to sweat as much as possible to maintain optimal body temperature. If the persistent lack of sweat persists even in hot weather while you are fully hydrated, make an appointment with your primary care provider to check everything out.
Do I really need to “sweat”?
In fitness culture, visible sweating can be seen as a badge of honor: proof that you are pushing yourself incredibly hard, or as proof that long-term gains are really happening right now. So, for whatever reason, if you don’t sweat as much as you think, then there may be something wrong with you.
Not true, says Accetta. The amount of sweat alone does not vary widely from person to person, “there is of course something like excess sweat, where people who are more hydrated than others have extra fluid on board which causes excessive sweating.”
If you know that you are well-hydrated and you are setting challenging but manageable fitness goals for yourself, try not to sweat.
Oh hi! You look like someone who loves free workouts, discounts for state-of-the-art fitness brands and exclusive good + good stuff. Sign up for Well +Wellness is our online community, and unlock your rewards instantly