Working up a sweat is usually a helpful indicator to let people know they are getting a good workout. If you frequent the gym, you may notice that some people barely sweat at all, while others may be dripping wet. While fitness level may be one influencing factor in sweat production during exercise, other influences like body composition, exercise intensity, genetics and environment can also play a part in how much a person sweats.
Sweating and Activity
The more work you do, the more heat your body generates during activity. So, the higher your level of intensity during a workout, the more likely it is your body temperature will increase. As a reaction, the blood vessels expand and the heart beats faster to allow blood to flow closer to the skin in order to regulate core body temperature. If the blood flow mechanism doesn't work fast enough to keep body temperatures regular, sweat glands produce sweat, which evaporates off the skin and cools the body's external layers.
Sweat and Fitness Level
According to an article by Tanya Rouble, ACE-CPT, the amount that you sweat does not necessarily indicate your level of fitness. In some cases where it appears that less fit individuals sweat more while exercising, it is likely that those individuals are less able to cope with the demands of increased heat during activity and, thus, may sweat more. The American Council on Exercise adds that fit people tend to sweat more efficiently by sweating early in the workout when their body temperature is lower so that their bodies don't store extra heat.
Body composition and body type may be another contributing factor to the amount of sweat produced during exercise. A study published in the June 2011 issue of “American Journal of Applied Physiology” compared heat production in people of different fitness levels. The study showed that sweat rates depended on heat production from factors like body size and environment, not aerobic fitness. Those individuals with overall higher fat content and body mass were more likely to produce heat and, to compensate, sweated more.
While fitness and intensity may influence how much an individual sweats during exercise, other factors including gender, environment and hydration status may also affect sweat rates. Exercise in cooler temperatures to avoid raising your body temperature, or exercise in areas where fans circulate air through your workout space. Drink water during exercise, and continue to drink after your workout to replenish water that has been lost from sweat.