When I work out, I like to get a good sweat going, burn calories and get real cardio exercise. By contrast, some people like to cool themselves with a fan and sweat less. Does this reduce the effectiveness of their exercise? —Mike Pucci, Alameda, Calif. Nope. The intensity and length of your workout is what determines your cardio benefit and calorie burn. Sweating helps only to keep your body cool. (You don’t get cardio exercise or burn calories in a sauna, no matter how much you sweat.) Regardless, some people just love to suffer during their workouts, and you may be one of them. Maybe it makes them even tougher! Others—like me—go for the fan to help them hang on longer. Either way, the benefit is the same. We’ve all heard the proverb, “The exception proves the rule.” How can an exception confirm that a rule is valid? —Victor Nelson, Frederick, Md. This saying has become widely misunderstood over time. (Maybe it was conflated with the adage, “There is an exception to every rule.”) Anyway, many people don’t know that one meaning of “to prove” is “to test.” (Have you ever heard the term “proving grounds”? These are places where testing occurs, usually associated with the military.) So the proverb actually means, “The exception tests the rule.” And the rule may fail that test.