Do I have to sweat for exercise to count?

No, you do not have to sweat for exercise to count. Sweating is dependent on a lot of factors including temperature where you’re exercising, hydration levels, clothing worn, humidity, and exercise intensity. Exercise and moderate intensity can still provide lots of fitness benefits even if you do not sweat.

Perspiration or sweat is your body's way of cooling itself, whether that extra heat comes from hardworking muscles or from over stimulated nerves. We are constantly sweating, even though we may not notice it. Sweating is your body's major way of getting rid of excess body heat, which is produced by metabolism or working muscles. The amount of sweat produced depends upon your state of emotion and physical activity. Sweat can be made in response to nerve stimulation, hot air temperature, and/or exercise. The more efficient your cooling system, the more you sweat. Make sure you drink plenty of water before, during and after you exercise to avoid dehydration.


Sweating occurs as a mean to controlling our body temperature as our body core heat increases during exercising, which is why drinking plenty of fluid is very important in fitness training.

If you’re not sweating, you not be consuming enough fluid, or working your body enough and not receiving the full benefits of your workout. Also you may have a medical condition in which you should see your medical provider. 

We also lose some of our ability to sweat as we age.

The idea that you have to sweat to benefit from exercise is a fitness myth. Moving your body and raising your heart rate relative to your fitness level are the most important parts of physical activity. The main purpose of sweating is to cool your body down. You may sweat when you are active. 
But if you are getting a physical activity plan started slowly as tolerated, or if you are older and just don’t sweat as much you used to, you may not sweat. If you are moving your body more than you usually do, you are working toward better fitness, sweat or no sweat. 
Note: Discuss appropriate exercise levels and physical goals with a physician before beginning any exercise plan.

Continue Learning about Types Of Exercise Programs

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.