Health and Fitness Anytime – March 29

A New Column – With Jolene de Vries


Question:  Is sweating any indication of how hard I’m working out?

Answer:  How much you sweat depends on the type of workout and training goal rather than how hard you’re working out.  For example, power lifters who train hard and lift heavy need ample rest in between sets and, typically, do not sweat as much as someone moving through an 8 station circuit with little to no rest in between each exercise.  Both types of workouts are challenging, but the amount of sweat you produce will be very different.  Your environmental surroundings can also influence how much you’ll sweat.  Cooler temperatures or working out in an air conditioned room will result in less sweating, while a warmer room, such as a hot yoga studio, will result in the opposite.  Keep in mind that sweating is your body’s way of cooling itself. Some people are simply more efficient at this than others, thus more sweat! Instead of measuring your sweat to see if you’re working hard enough, try using the ‘talk test’ (if you’re working hard it should be tough to talk) or a heart rate monitor (an indicator of how hard your heart is working.

Question:  Since retirement, I have more time on my hands and want to devote a few days a week to working out.  But, I’ve never worked out before. Can you give me some advice to help me get started so I do not injure myself?

Answer:  One of the easiest ways to avoid injury when beginning a fitness program is to, first, get clearance from your physician.  It’s important, especially if you have been sedentary, to know what you can do based on your current health, age, and overall physical condition.   Next, find an activity that you enjoy, make sure to take time to warm up properly to help lubricate joints and slowly increase the demand on the heart and lungs for more intense exercise.  If it’s cardio you’re doing, begin slowly and then increase the speed. If it’s a weight workout, lighter weight and smaller range of motion will be appropriate for the warm up. As well, you’ll want to progress slowly with your exercise goals, as the risk of injury is higher when you do too much, too soon, too fast. Remember, fitness is a life long journey!  Lastly, stay hydrated.  Proper hydration helps to regulate heart rate and core temperature, as well as replenish lost fluids from exercise.

Question: Is there a proper way to breathe when lifting weights?

Answer: If you are new to exercise, it’s far more important that you just breathe rather than how you breathe.  Often, synching your breath with your movements can be overwhelming to a new exerciser.  There are more pertinent pieces of information that need to be addressed when getting started, such as becoming familiar with strength training machines, execution and proper form to be used during the exercises, or understanding which muscles are working.  Once the exercises become familiar and you are out of the beginning stages of weight lifting, you will most likely be lifting a slightly heavier load and will be syncing your breath with your movements. This becomes more important to move the increased load.  Exhale during the “work” phase of an exercise.  The “work” phase will be the most strenuous part of the movement pattern.  Inhale during the “recovery” phase on an exercise. The “recovery” phase is typically the return back to the starting position.

About the author: Jolene de Vries is the Club Owner at Anytime Fitness coming to Esterhazy, Saskatchewan in summer of 2016.  To submit a question for future articles, please contact the author at

One response to “Health and Fitness Anytime – March 29

  1. Patrick Landine

    Another factor that can effect sweat quantity is how much you drink before and during exercise. I know that when I started keeping a water bottle with me on the hockey bench – I was sweating more.

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