Ever notice how some people at the gym perspire profusely while others barely break a sweat? People’s rates of “whole body evaporative heat loss” or sweat are different. One can’t judge a tough workout by the number of towels required to mop up.
But it can be assumed that good sweaters are effective heat dissipaters. Shedding the extra heat well means the heart and lungs are less stressed. It also means air conditioning won’t be such a necessity.
As people age, this ability wanes. Canadian researchers wondered at what age this starts. Ranging in age from 20-70, eighty-five males cycled for four 15-minute bouts in 35 degrees centigrade.
Results were reported in PLOSone: Whole body sweat rate (WBSR) was reduced in males aged 56–70 during each exercise, in males aged 50–55 during the second and third exercises and in males aged 45–49 during the last bout only. All were measured as relative to the younger men.
Middle aged and older adults should be aware of this decline when exercising. Sweating should not be a gauge of a good workout. But it is certainly a welcome reward, not the bane deodorant companies would have us believe. To be safe, as we age, drink plenty of fluids and exercise outdoors in the cooler part of the day.