Here's why your workout sweat is your best friend--and your fat's worst enemy.
I don't know about you CEOs, but my biggest challenge after turning 50 is the heat. I don't like to be in the sun, I stay away from beaches (I prefer mountains), and I can't sleep if the room is not cold. And this is coming from the person who, in my teens and 20s, was addicted to tanning. Boy, I am really "transforming!"
So, with this brief introduction, you can understand why I don't like feeling hot and sweaty. However, it is a completely different story when I work out. The more heat and sweat I can feel, the more I love it.
Here are 4 reasons why I love feeling the heat (and you should too if you want your workouts to be efficient), which equates to seeing the results of my hard work:
1. Physiological reason: As your body pumps blood while you exercise, you create heat. By increasing blood flow, you are also increasing your body's heat and sweat, all three of which help with muscle contractions. I am sure you are familiar with pulled muscle injuries due to "cold muscles." Sweat is 99 percent water and 1 percent salt, potassium, and carbs. Sodium helps balance the amount of water inside and outside your cells, as well as in your blood, to keep your body hydrated.
2. Metabolic reason (a.k.a burning fat deposits): Heat/sweat created while you exercise (heads up, CEOs: I am not talking about sweating in the sauna) is a sign that you are burning fat. The main reason we sweat during a workout is the energy we’re expending while generating internal body heat; if we’re working out hard enough to sweat, we’re burning calories in the process.
Whether those calories come primarily from fat or from carbs depends on the intensity and duration of your workout. Typically, carbohydrates are burned up first (therefore, I don't recommend eating bananas or protein bars before a workout if you want to lose weight; instead of those carbs, start using fat as a source of energy).
But because they’re stored in limited amounts in the muscles and liver, after a certain time period, the body must begin burning its fat reserves for energy. Thus, I always say that heat is the biggest enemy to fat--and you know what happens to fat or butter when you put it on a hot pan: it melts away!!
3. Psychological reason: I have to say that there is something 'magical' about sweat. The more you sweat, the more unstoppable you feel. You actually become more energized. Can you think of any other time when you are more raw and real than when you are dripping sweat, your hair is wrecked, your makeup is smudged or missing, and you feel like you can run another round of stairs with Rocky Balboa!?
The more I sweat, the more motivated I get with my workout. I call it the 'Rocky Balboa Zone.'
I'm in that zone whenever I feel elated about the stinky-but-so-powerful version of myself.
4. CEO satisfaction reason: I will say, there are very few moments in which I feel more satisfied and prouder of myself than when I am taking my shower after a good sweaty workout. That's likely because sweat provides something that few other things can: immediate evidence of accomplishment. I am not saying that our bodies are going to visibly change by the end of one run or workout. But because we all crave instant proof of our hard work, sweat (be it a damp forehead or a drenched sports bra) provides the evidence of just that.
CEOs, all it takes is 20 minutes of sweaty activity to feel stronger and even slimmer! It's not just about the mood boost that comes with the release of endorphins. Sweaty exercising actually encourages you to see yourself in a new light right after the workout, a perk that researchers say can improve your internal dialogue over time. Thus, I always say: if you want to change your life, change your thoughts by creating your Heavenly Body.
If you are ready to change your life, the most direct path to get there is through sweaty and stinky workouts that will help you to create the body you have always wanted.