You've likely experienced this phenomenon: You challenge your body in an hour-long yoga class, working your core, testing your inner strength, and opening up your hips, yet when it comes time to say namaste and go on your way, you're completely sweat-free. The same feeling of suspicious dryness after an intense winter run can leave you with a burning question: Did that workout even count? It's easy to confound the quality of a workout with just how profusely you're sweating after, but as Mindbodygreen points out, sweat is more nuanced than that. Non-sweaty workouts are worth it. For example, a sweat-free yoga class is still building muscle strength and upping your flexibility. A winter run that's the same distance as a summer session that leaves you 10 times sweatier is still working your body in the same way. "Any workout is a good workout if it works for you and you're consistent with it," says certified nutrition specialist Jason Boehm. Women’s health expert Anna Cabeca, MD, agrees. "Sweating is not an indication of a good workout," she says. "You will want to include activities that do make you sweat periodically though," whether it's switching up your workout or spending time in infrared saunas or steam baths.
The takeaway is this: Sweating is a healthy part of human life that should be encouraged regularly, but by no means is it a litmus test for how intense or effective your workout really is. If you consistently aren't breaking a sweat when you should be—after a high-intensity workout or exercising outdoors on a hot day—it could be that you're not drinking enough water. So drink up, and practice what makes you motivated and excited. Instead of measuring success by sweatiness, be happy you put in the time, regardless of whether you finish up drenched or with completely dry armpits.