The Fitness Benefits of Sweating

Three reasons why sweating your ass off in this heat is (sorta) worth It

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I’m heading to Mexico this coming Saturday for a much-needed bit of summer respite and relaxation. Though I’m looking forward to lots of biking, snorkeling, swimming, and some Mayan Ruin exploration, the chance of getting in a run or any type of a workout (though I do plan to pack my TRX straps!) is most likely slim-to-none. So I made a deal with myself that I would run Tuesday through Friday this week, no matter what. And then, Philly decided to go and break record temps. Still, I’ve been up the last two days before 6am in an attempt to beat the extreme onset of overpowering temps to log my miles. Well, it’s still ungodly hot at 6am, and by the time I finish around 7:20am, it’s been so hot and humid the air feels nearly too thick to breathe.

Seeing that I still have two more days to battle these skyrocketing temps, I gave Ross Martinson, co-owner of Philadelphia Runner and Be Well’s resident running coach, a call to see if there was any possible benefit of running in this heat and he kindly gave me three. So the next time you’re out there sweating it up, try to keep these motivating thoughts in mind.

You get the same benefit working out at a less-strenuous pace when it’s this hot outside as you do at a faster pace when it’s cooler. “The calories will still be based on how far you’re going, but your cardiovascular system and muscles get the same benefit because they have to work that much harder,” says Martinson.

If you can get through these temps, you can get through anything. “Training now can really help you toughen up for when you’re at the end of your next race and you’re ready to stop,” says Martinson. Though you’d be downright crazy to run without water this week, running the last few minutes after you finish your bottle can mimic pushing yourself the last few minutes of a distance race.

You’ll be super-good at sweating.
“Training now really helps your body learn how to sweat well” says Martinson. “When it’s cooler, your body will still need to be able to sweat efficiently, so days like this week will theoretically help you on those cooler days.”

Of course, remember to stay hydrated and I would highly recommend getting any outdoor activity in before 7:30am when it’s this scorching outside. How about you? How have these scorching temps affected your fitness routine?