Well, things haven’t changed much for me. I bring this up because one day last week I was teaching an outdoor class and by half way through I was drenched in sweat. I’m not at all exaggerating either. Every inch of my body was wet and my hair was absolutely dripping wet. I had planned to run into the grocery store afterwards, but that plan got completely blown by my body’s production of mass amounts of sweat. I couldn’t figure out why I was covered while other women merely glistened. Of course, in the exercise environment I can be slightly less embarrassed, but if you see me out in public I am one of those folks who you might look at and wonder what is wrong with me! I am still embarrassed by this . . . and it’s been how many years??
My mother used to always tell me it’s healthy to sweat. Well, I know she was just trying to make me feel better, but I wanted to see if all those buckets of water I was releasing from my body were doing me any good. So, here you go with what sweating really does for your body. So, if you keep a towel in your car just for sweat purposes, this is for you!
The Benefits of Sweating
When you sweat your body is attempting to cool your body down. Therefore, you breathe faster, your heart works more, your circulation improves and your metabolism accelerates, all in an effort to resume your normal body temperature. Since your circulation is increased during sweating, a lot of the toxins and impurities are able to exit your body by way of your open skin pores. This is a good reason to exercise to the point of sweating or to sit in a steam room regularly.
Your skin also benefits from sweating. Your skin pores open and any dirt or impurities on the surface layers of the skin have a chance to exit. Sweating regularly, if followed by proper cleansing, will help you to achieve softer and smoother skin. (I’m thinking my skin should then be as smooth as a baby’s butt!)
It is believed that the immune system also benefits from sweating. When your body heats up, your body generates more white blood cells. This strengthens your immune system.
Sweating has been discussed heavily as a tool for weight loss. The weight that you lose through sweating is only water weight. Therefore, don’t get all excited when you drop 3 pounds after sweating through a Hot Yoga class! This weight will be replaced by fluids when you hydrate. However, the good thing is that sweat can be an indicator that you are performing activities that burn calories. If you’ve worked hard enough to work up a sweat, you’ve likely burned calories in the process.
Sweating can also be very relaxing for both your body and your mind. When you sweat, your body’s muscles are warmed up by humidity and heat. This helps to release the stress and fatigue brought on by muscle tension. Think of the times you have been tight and tense, or maybe you have simply slept wrong on your neck or other muscle. If you are moving and work up a sweat your muscles get warm and stretch and the tension will be released.
Also, a study from Eberhard Karls University Tubingen in Germany found that perspiration contains a naturally occurring antimicrobial peptide called dermcidin, which has been proven to fight tuberculosis germs and other dangerous pathogens. In this instance the body’s sweat helps protect the body from germs. Another benefit for those sweaters is a lower chance of having a kidney stone. Folks who exercise regularly tend to sweat out salt and retain the calcium in their bones, rather than the salt and calcium go into the kidneys and urine where the kidney stones form. Sweaters tend to drink more water and other fluids which also helps prevent the formation of kidney stones.
Now that I know there are some good things going on in my body while it produces all this sweat. I still wonder why some and not others.
The amount a person sweats also depends on how many sweat glands are activated and how much sweat is excreted from each gland. It turns out that fit men sweat significantly more than fit women. The same amount of sweat glands might be activated, but women produce less sweat from each gland. Fit people sweat more efficiently by sweating sooner during workouts, when their body temperature is lower. However, a sedentary person working at the same intensity will heat up a lot faster and possibly sweat more. Also, overweight people sweat more profusely than normal-weight individuals because fat acts as an insulator that raises core temperature.
Some things are in your control when it comes to sweating. If you’re a coffee drinker, caffeine can increase perspiration, so if you’re concerned, try cutting out that cup of joe. Drinking alcohol can have the same effect, so limit the cocktails. Smokers may also sweat more since nicotine can affect your hormones, skin, and brain. Wearing synthetic fabrics that trap in heat will make you feel more hot, making you more sweaty, so go for more breathable fabrics.
For For more information on sweating, excessive sweating and medical conditions see here.
So, I should feel a bit better now about my profuse sweating condition. I’m happy to hear there are some benefits because I haven’t seemed to find a way to NOT sweat. I’m just stuck with it. It’s why you’ll always find an extra towel, and usually a change of clothes, in my car . . .
What about you? Do you sweat? Or just get rosy? I didn’t touch on the smell factor . . .
I’m okay in that area. What about you? Issued with both? A little too much information?
Have a Great Day out there! Go break a sweat!