Fitness Articles

8 Workouts You'll Love if You Hate to Sweat

Don't Sweat It! These Perspiration-Free Workouts Deliver

There's little I love more than a good run or high-energy kickboxing class where you leave completely covered and dripping with sweat. There's something about being drenched that signals—to me—that I've had a really good workout, really given it my all. But I'm not normal. I know that for most people, especially those who don't like exercise, sweating has a big ick factor to it.

Sweat can get in your eyes, it can make you smelly, and it can really mess up your hair. And let's face it: Some people hate sweating so much that they don't like to work out But don't throw out your workout with the sweat puddles. Even though heart-pumping and sweat-inducing high-intensity exercise is often touted for its health and weight-loss benefits, low-intensity workouts have their perks, too. In fact, a three-month study from the University of Queensland in Australia found that subjects who did Tai Chi (a graceful mix of gentle exercise, stretching and meditation) regularly for 90 days—without any high-intensity activity—had decreases in blood pressure, blood sugar levels and insulin resistance. Not to mention that they also reported lower levels of depression, slept better, had more energy, and dealt with stress more easily.

Oftentimes lower-intensity exercise can be more enjoyable than more intense forms of exercise because it's more comfortable. We all know that exercise that is more comfortable and enjoyable—not some sweaty form of torture—is exercise that you want to do for the long haul. And any exercise you do regularly is good exercise! Below are eight no-sweat, lower-intensity workouts. If you're someone who avoids exercising because you think you'll have to shower afterwards or will spend the time gasping for air, think again. These eight activities are perfectly stress- and sweat-free!

Mat Pilates
Pilates exercises, which are based on dance, yoga, gymnastics and calisthenics, are designed to strength the core, lengthen the body and improve posture (think of the body of a ballerina). This form of exercise involves little to no cardio work, but instead builds on moves that target the abs, back and overall core strength. With Pilates you won't be sweating per se, but you'll definitely be feeling the burn with moves like The Hundred, Double Leg Stretch and other challenging exercises that mix focused breathing with serious core work.
Get started tip: Check out Coach Nicole's 12-minute Pilates Video!
Water Workouts
If you hate to sweat, working out in the water is awesome because even if you are sweating, you won't even know it! Swimming can be an incredibly relaxing workout that works your whole body with little impact on your joints, so it's perfect for people with significant amounts of weight to lose or individuals with injuries or arthritis. Whether it's lap swimming, a water aerobics class or channeling your inner kid and just doggie paddling down and back at the pool, jumping in the water can do wonders for your health.
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About The Author

Jennipher Walters Jennipher Walters
Jenn is the CEO and co-founder of the healthy living websites, and A certified personal trainer, health coach and group exercise instructor, she also holds an MA in health journalism and is the author of The Fit Bottomed Girls Anti-Diet book (Random House, 2014).

See all of Jenn's articles.

Member Comments

  • I do not mind sweating while I am doing a workout. Love swimming it is good excerise for the entire body to :) - 8/25/2014 1:49:49 PM
    Three years ago I could not swim at all. My husband worked with me and showed me that if I blew air out while under water I would be able to swim as he thought I had a good stroke. With some practice I now swim a mile 2 to 3 times a week. I do find doing laps relaxing and enjoy the water. I do not swim fast (a mile in 1 hr and 20 minutes) but find a rythym and keep going. Like so many I cannot run anymore after neck and back surgery and of course sore knees. I learned to swim at 59 so it is never too late. - 8/17/2014 10:25:50 AM
  • Doing housework is definitely a big work-out especially for big girls like me.
    I find it's a work-out I can stick to consistently: cleaning the bathroom, cooking (standing in a hot kitchen for more than an hour makes me sweat!) and washing dishes, vacuuming, dusting, and rearranging furniture.

    Thanks for the good advice, sparkpeople. - 8/13/2014 6:16:01 PM
  • Are you kidding me? I walk every day at lunch at work & come back a red & sweaty mess. I have to bring "gym" clothes so I am presentable about 1/2 hr after my walk. Walking can be a work-out... maybe you're talking about taking a leisurely stroll? That's activity, not exercise.
    And... you do sweat swimming... it's just that you don't notice it b/c you're in a pool (of everyone else's sweat... Ew. Now that I put it that way... Ew.) - 6/4/2014 8:49:55 PM
  • Anyone who thinks you can walk as quickly as recommended and not sweat hasn't tried it. I tend to be warm and sweat easily. I walk regularly with a friend who tends more toward being cold. We don't amble but we're not fast, and after about a mile we're both sweating, even during the winter. - 6/3/2014 7:53:15 AM
    When ever I have worked out intensely I have turned red but I really don't sweat. Put me in the summer sun doing garden work and my neighbors threaten to call the Environmental Protection Agency because of the sweat and smell polluting the environment. - 6/2/2014 2:51:36 PM
  • MMGAGE1701
    Bonus with swimming: It's a GREAT way to clear your head. If you're lap swimming, you are truly alone with your thoughts. And if you're working hard enough, you don't have excess energy for getting emotional, which can help you look at an issue with a different perspective. I've had more epiphanies in the pool! - 6/2/2014 8:21:54 AM
  • I sweat like a pig when I walk! And you DO sweat when you swim, it's just washed away. In fact, you must be careful not to become dehydrated when you swim because you don't realize that you need to drink. - 4/23/2014 12:35:17 AM
  • My main exercises are walking,swimming, and yard work and it keeps my B/P stable. - 3/6/2014 10:36:42 PM
  • My main exercises are walking,swimming, and yard work and ot keeps my B/P stable. - 3/6/2014 10:35:57 PM
  • Thanks for sharing - 11/7/2013 5:20:33 AM
  • I am amazed! I sweat through almost every one of the exercises listed. Why would SP offer an article with information that is so inaccurate? Disappointed! - 8/30/2013 12:41:06 PM
    All 8 of those exercises listed makes me sweat. I don't think there is no true exercise that won't get some perspiration out of you. - 8/29/2013 10:24:32 AM
  • I sweat anytime I start to do something other than a slow the house, riding my bike, during strength training, and walking from the car to my classroom at school all make me sweat. I believe that it maybe because of how often I workout. My brain senses an increase in movement and says workout time, time to keep cool! - 8/29/2013 10:19:57 AM
  • Must not being doing things correctly as I've sweated doing hatha yoga, walking even below 80 degrees, aqua cardio and strength training! - 7/27/2013 10:36:56 PM

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