When you exercise, your body temperature increases, causing some people to lose weight. Is this true for you?
The short answer is yes, but only in the sense that if you’re already hot when you exercise, then you’ll probably lose some weight. So unless you find a method of cooling down afterwards, the answer is likely to be yes.
However, the long answer is more complicated. High body temperatures caused by physical activity can have several positive effects, including increasing your body’s metabolic rate and enhancing your athletic performance. They can also contribute to weight loss. Let’s have a look.
When your body is at rest, your metabolic rate is relatively low. However, this changes when you begin moving or exercising. As your body tries to keep up with the increased activity, it triggers a process known as thermogenesis, which causes your body temperature to rise. This in turn stimulates your metabolism.
This is why people who exercise regularly tend to have a higher metabolic rate than those who don’t – even when their body weights are the same. High metabolic rates mean more calories burned at rest, which in turn contributes to weight loss.
Hydration And Recovery
While your body is recovering from activity, your body needs plenty of water to perform at its best. This is why when you exercise, you usually feel thirsty. If you don’t drink sufficient amounts of water while exercising, your body can become dehydrated, which in turn makes you feel tired and weak. Furthermore, without sufficient hydration, your body can’t maintain the right electrolyte balance, which again, can lead to fatigue and potential health problems. To avoid any complications, drink plenty of fluids before, during, and after your workouts.
Increased Cardiovascular Efficiency
As we’ve established, your body temperature increases when you exercise. This is why most people who exercise regularly experience an increased heart rate – especially when they first get started. As your body gets used to the increased activity, your cardiovascular system adjusts and your heart rate returns to a more normal rate. However, this is also why if you stop exercising, your heart rate will likely drop again – leading you to believe that you’ll need to keep up with the strenuous activity to maintain a constant heart rate and prevent weight gain.
Reduced Cholesterol And Triglycerides
Another effect of increased body temperature due to physical activity is a reduction in cholesterol and triglycerides. This is attributed to the fact that heat activates enzymatic reactions that break down fats and cholesterol. So while you may not necessarily lose weight during your workouts, you may find that your cholesterol and triglyceride levels are lowered, contributing to healthier living overall.
Improved Mental Clarity
Mental clarity increases as your body temperature rises. If you’ve ever felt unfocused or foggy after a long, stressful day at work, you know what I’m talking about. The stress hormone cortisol, which is released during times of stress, promotes glucose uptake by the brain, resulting in increased mental clarity. This is why when you exercise, your cognitive function improves, and you become more focused and relaxed – even if it’s just for a short while.
This is why people who exercise regularly experience increased mental clarity and alertness – especially in the morning. The cortisol levels in your body are at their highest in the morning, and they stay high throughout the day. This is why it’s advised by some scientists that you should exercise regularly if you want to maintain optimal mental and physical health – especially in the morning.
Potential For Disease Prevention
Certain scientists believe that increased body temperature caused by physical activity can play a role in preventing certain diseases. For example, regular exercise has been shown to increase your body’s resistance to disease and infection. This is likely due to the increase in your body’s immune system activity as a result of the higher body temperatures – another beneficial effect of physical activity. Furthermore, your body temperature can increase the rate at which your cells reproduce, leading to potential disease prevention as well.
Obviously, the above discussion is extremely brief. There’s a lot more that could be said on the topic of the roles that increased body temperature plays in health and wellness. If you’re interested in learning more, take a look at some of the literature on the subject.
The Bottom Line
So, does sweating make you lose weight? Most likely, yes. However, it’s more complicated than that. While your body temperature does increase when you exercise, there are several other factors at play here. Your metabolism increases, as does your heart rate. Your body also releases cortisol, which results in higher mental clarity. So, while you may not necessarily lose weight during your workouts, you may find that you have an increased appetite, resulting in some weight loss. Perhaps the most beneficial effect of sweating is that it results in an improved mental state and increased physical fitness – both of which can contribute to a healthier lifestyle overall.