You probably all heard one time or another that sweating is good for you. But what is sweat? And what makes it good for you? And why the heck do we sweat?
Well, first of all, sweat is made up mostly of water mixed with salt and small amounts of waste. It’s secreted through sweat glands that are activated by hormones, stress, emotions and physical activity. Sweat manifests on the surface of the body and as it evaporates, it cools the body. So sweating is your body’s cooling system when it becomes overheated, either by sickness, exercise or other means (stress, hormones, saunas, steam baths, sun bathing etc….)
Sweating removes toxins and disease out of the body, and it does it faster than the kidneys. Kidneys can take up to 24 hours to remove harmful toxins like lead and mercury out of the body. Sweating can also rid the body of harmful substances like alcohol, cholesterol and salt. Research as found that as much as thirty percent of the body’s wasted is eliminated through sweat.
As you heat up and produce sweat, your heart works faster to improve circulation and in the long run, sweating actually improves cardiovascular health.
The water you lose while sweating is not weight loss as your body needs to re-hydrate, but as your body heats up through exercise, fat becomes water-soluble and exits the body through sweat–I read somewhere that sweating can burn 300 calories an hour!
We all know that skin care has a lot to do with a healthy diet and proper exercise. But sweat definitely helps as well for two reasons: (1) sweat contains small amounts of antibiotics that can combat some of the bacteria that are found naturally on the skin, and (2) sweating can also unclog pores which will help improve the skin‘s tone, clarity and texture. But you should definitely clean your face after a good sweat because it contains toxins that are being cleansed from the body.
Last but not least, even though sweating does not lower stress or boost your mood, increasing your body heat by exercise or saunas does have a positive effect on mood and stress levels as endorphins (happy hormones) and other chemicals are released during exercise that naturally improve mood and lower stress levels. So indirectly, sweat helps your moods…
So sweat away!