When you’re out in public, I’d be willing to bet you get embarrassed by sweaty armpits or a sweaty shirt. Some of us go to great lengths to avoid sweating.
Maybe you wear antiperspirants, which block sweat ducts so sweat can’t reach the skin’s surface. You might wear breathable fabrics or get treatments to minimize or stop sweating altogether.
This body function has several powerful benefits that are good for your body. If you need another reason to boost your workout, let me tell you about the extraordinary power of sweat.
I understand that heated fitness classes or hot yoga aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, and I crave heated workouts. The sweatier, the better. While it might be an acquired taste, a regular sweaty workout might be the boost to your health goals your body needs.
What Makes You Sweat?
Sweat’s primary job is to regulate your body temperature. Glands produce it in the middle, but the dermis is the most significant layer of your skin. The dermis consists of two layers: The reticular dermis and the papillary dermis. Sweat is produced in the reticular dermis, the bottom layer. The reticular dermis is thick and contains blood vessels, hair follicles, lymph nodes, nerves, fat cells, and sweat glands.
When your body becomes too hot, or you experience stress, your brain signals your sweat glands to produce sweat, which is made up of water and salt, to lower your body’s temperature. Sweat has to evaporate off of your skin to lower your temperature. This takes energy, and that energy is heat.
The next time you’re sweating it out at hot yoga or heated Pilates, keep in mind that the purpose of the heat is to speed up the evaporation of sweat to regulate your body temperature as your body gets warm from the exercise. Remember, your body naturally creates heat when you work out, whether the room is heated or not. Pretty cool, huh?
There’s more power behind sweating that goes beyond body temperature regulation, especially regarding exercise.
The Benefits of Sweating
How many of you have heard someone say “detox for the retox” while working out? There’s a lot of truth behind that catchy phrase. Sweating helps you detox your body from heavy metals and other toxins. It can also remove bacteria, keep you looking younger, help you lose weight, release feel-good hormones, and even make you more sexually attractive. Now that I have your attention let’s dive into the power of sweat.
Sweating while Exercising
As I’ve already discussed, sweating’s primary purpose is to regulate body temperature. Exercise and high temperatures cause your body to heat up, making muscles, tendons, and ligaments more elastic. If you’re not sweating during a workout, you are likely dehydrated.
Sweating during a good workout has many other benefits, including:
- Boosts endorphins
- Lowers the risk of kidney stones
- Promotes healthy sleep patterns
- Removes bacteria
- It helps maintain a healthy weight
Sweating is also a great way to detox your body and can help remove toxins such as alcohol, cholesterol, and salt. Yet, there are more detoxifying benefits from sweat that go beyond alcohol.
Heavy Metals Detox
A 2016 study in China showed that heavy metals such as mercury, lead, copper, arsenic, and iron levels were lower in people who exercised regularly. What’s more, heavy metals are found in the sweat and urine with a higher concentration in the sweat.
Because of sweat’s detoxifying properties, it can help lower the accumulation of salt and calcium in the kidneys, which is what causes kidney stones. Sweating helps the detoxifying process because it demands more hydration from the body from water and electrolytes.
Sweat Keeps You Looking Younger
If you want to keep that youthful glow to your skin, a good sweat session may be the true fountain of youth.
A 2014 study found that sweating can not only keep skin younger but can reverse skin aging. The epidermis, the visible skin layer, gets dense and dry as we age, and at the same time, the dermis loses elasticity and begins thinning.
Sweat also opens pores and cleans out the oil and toxins in your skin and unhealthy bacteria in your face.
Boosts Your Immune System
We know that exercise improves the immune system and boosts metabolism. Since training and sweating go hand in hand, they make one incredible duo for your immune system. Regular exercise facilitates the body’s production of antibodies, reduces stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol, and energizes your body’s cells.
Sweating is also significant for your immune health. Since its job is to regulate your body’s temperature, when your body temperature increases, it kills bacteria and viruses much as a fever does.
It Boosts Sexual Attraction
I’m not making this up. A 2007 study by the University of California-Berkley found that a chemical in male sweat known as androstadienone influenced women’s hormone production and increased sexual arousal. This chemical in men increases cortisol levels in women who sniff it. Several studies show that high levels of cortisol increase sexual arousal in women.
Women also produce androstadienone. However, it’s not at the high levels as men. That doesn’t mean that males can’t pick up the scent, yet it’s unknown whether it has the same effect on men as it does on women.
Yes, sweating can be embarrassing, but this natural body function can detox you, boost your mood, perform as a natural antibiotic, keep you looking younger, and help you lose weight. The power of sweat is genuinely remarkable.
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Medical disclaimer: I am not a medical professional. While I am a certified nutritionist and wellness coach, I am not providing healthcare, medical, or nutritional therapy services or attempting to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure any physical, mental, or emotional issue. The information provided on this website or any materials provided by Very Well Wellness is for informational purposes only and is not intended to substitute professional medical advice, diagnoses, or treatment. Always seek advice from your physician or other qualified healthcare provider before undertaking a new health regimen. Do not disregard medical advice or delay seeking medical advice because of information you read on this website or any materials provided by Very Well Wellness. Do not start or stop any medications without speaking to your medical or mental health provider.
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