Why does Exercise Cause Sweating?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 06 September 2019
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The relationship between sweating and exercise is one that active people are familiar with. There are actually beneficial reasons why increased levels of movement, such as exercise, result in perspiration or sweat. Here is why people sweat when engaged in exercising, and why this is an important bodily function.

The main thing to understand is that sweating is the body’s way of activating a mechanism to help keep body temperature within a range that is acceptable for efficient function. When the body begins to sweat, this is a signal that some sort of stimuli has increased the overall temperature of the body to a point that the automatic process for cooling is activated. The cooling process begins with a signal sent from the brain to the sweat glands that are located all over the body. As the glands create the moisture, the sweat is emitted through the sweat glands and rises to the exterior layer of the skin.

At this point in the sweating process, the body will begin to use the excess heat or energy to evaporate the sweat from your body. As this occurs, the moisture that has already sweated through the skin begins to dry and the production of new sweat begins to subside, as the body begins to cool. In effect, sweating cools the body by forcing the excess heat to be redirected to a specific task, that of evaporating the exterior moisture.


Sweat glands are located all over the body. High concentrations of the glands for sweating are found on the soles of the feet and the palms of the hands. The efficiency of sweating as a means of maintaining the body has led to the creation of a number of exercises that are specifically designed to encourage sweating as well as work particular groups of muscles.

While many people think that sweating is the cause of body odor, the fact is that sweat itself does not have a scent. During sweating, the moisture generated by the sweat glands mixes with the sebum or oil that is also generated by the body and deposits in the pores of the skin. The combination of sweat and sebum attracts bacteria on the surface of the skin, which produces odor as the bacteria begins to consume the mixture. Daily showers or baths are usually all that is required to remove the bacteria and lingering traces of sebum from the body, although many people will also choose to use a deodorant or antiperspirant as well.


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Post 1

To be more comfortable when exercising, use light weight garments that absorb sweat. It is especially important in hot weather to wear loose, lightweight clothing made out of moisture absorbent fabric.

Also freezing half a bottle of water, then filling the rest with water will give you cool comfort and replenish all that liquid that you lost through sweating.

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