Do You Need To Sweat To See Results? An Expert Weighs In

Let’s not beat around the bush, the answer is no. 

Sweat is not an indicator of how many calories you burn or how hard you are working out, It’s actually your body’s ability to cool itself down. Some people can be sweating like they’ve just stepped out of a bikram yoga class whilst others haven’t even broken one drop, despite working at the same intensity.

The exercise intensity, duration and movement will depend on your goal. If improving cardiovascular fitness is your goal then you’d be looking increasing your heart rate and maintaining it for a steady period of time. There’s a time and a place for high intensity sessions but lower impact sessions are easier on your bones, muscles and joints – your body will thank you for it later in life. They can be a great way to get in a heart-pumping workout without worrying too much about injuries or having to re-wash your hair ?


This traditional practice will have you feeling the burn without feeling the pain. Adding in a weekly yoga session is a fantastic way to stretch out tight muscles, mobilise the spine and correct body imbalances. Yoga is like strengthening your body from the inside out, working on poses and holds that incorporate full body movements, usually without breaking a sweat. Or if you want to take your practice to new heights try aerial yoga, it will make it more fun whilst de-compressing the spine.


Anything in the water produces a large calorie burn, utilising numerous muscle groups without the impact of running or the need to sweat. Some low intensity examples include: water running, water cycling classes (yes, they do exist), and of course swimming! Swimming is a great low-impact exercise with a huge list of benefits, from strengthening your shoulders to improving lung function.


Gone are the days where pilate’s classes were full of only mothers, with new studios and modern classes popping up in every suburb, this exercise is suitable for men and women, of all ages and ability. Pilates improves flexibility and increases muscle strength and tone, particularly in the abdominals, lower back, hips and glutes. It’s the ultimate ‘toner’ using only body weighted exercises to work all major muscle groups. Pilates, just like yoga, has more benefits than just what you can see in the mirror, it improves body awareness, increases lung capacity, improves circulation through deep breathing, and is a great stress management tool.


TRX is formally known as a strap suspension system, and almost all gyms in Australia have a pair or two. Using straps, handles and angles of the body to control how much resistance you’d personally like, the workout is easy on your joints and bones, but challenging for the rest of your body. Slow and controlled movements will not break a sweat but work muscles you never thought you had!


No you don’t have to be a professional or a retired to take on the course. Golf is great way to get in cardio without having to stand on the treadmill. A game of golf can equal 9.5kms, whilst enjoying the company of friends and the sunshine!

Katie Williams is part of the Women’s Health Fitfluential Network and her mega passion for life is contagious! Katie’s a champion beach sprinter and Ninja Warrior, and her aim is to “lead and inspire the women of Australia to be best version of themselves”. 

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