Sweat. Many of us go to great lengths to avoid sweating. We buy antiperspirant, wear wicking fabrics, and stand near fans to keep ourselves cool and dry. We know that working out to the point of sweating is good for us, but we may not know the many other benefits sweating actually brings. While some people sweat buckets and others simply “glisten heavily” the fact remains the same, there are many benefits to breaking a good hard sweat. Here are 8.5 of them:
- Sweating is a great detox. Our bodies take in many toxins from the food we eat, the water we drink, and the air we breathe. Sweating pushes this junk from our lymph system, blood, liver and more.
- Sweating makes us happy. When we workout hard enough to sweat, our brain chemistry is changed. Our endorphins are firing and dopamine is flooding our brain to make us feel exhilarated. Sweat lets us know we did what we came to the gym to do!
- Sweating can ward off kidney stones. Many say passing a kidney stone is more painful than childbirth and medical professionals know that these painful stones are formed when we don’t drink enough water and the salt and other minerals are left in our bodies. People who drink plenty of water and those who work out to the point of sweating, are less likely to get kidney stones because they flush their system more effectively.
- Sweating is a natural pain reliever. As noted by sports medicine physician, Dr. James Ting of Hoag Orthopedic Institute, “Exercise stimulates neurochemical pathways in the brain, resulting in the production of endorphins that act as natural painkillers.” So save the aspirin and ibuprofen, and get your sweat on!
- Sweat acts as a natural antibiotic to help heal wounds faster. At the University of Michigan, researcher Laure Rittie is discovering that the eccrine sweat glands host an important reservoir of adult stem cells which aid in the process of wound healing. If our skin is wounded by a scratch or a cut, antibiotic agents secreted in sweat glands, such as dermcidin, rapidly and efficiently kill invaders.
- Sweating can help get rid of zits! Our pores hold the dirt and oil that accumulate on our face during the day and a good sweat will flush the pores out. Sweating can also improve your skin’s tone and elasticity. Replenishing our body with water after sweating helps our skin as well.
- Sweating cools you down. This is the one benefit most people know and understand. Our bodies have a natural A/C built in and sweating flips the switch to kick on our cooling system.
- Sweating releases sodium from your body which can help lower blood pressure.
8.5 Sweating shows those around you that you worked hard and while you thought they were moving away from you because of the smell, it could be the awe they were simply in awe!
The key to “healthy sweating” is to replenish your body with lots of water. By re-hydrating, you are bringing even more health benefits to yourself.
So relish in the fact that you are good and sweaty after your next workout, aim for a good hard daily sweat, and know that you are healthier and happier (and maybe just a bit stinkier) because of it.