Surprising Benefits Of The Activity Most Try To Avoid
We spend so much time, money, and attention trying not to sweat. So it's easy to overlook the health benefits that come from sweating. Sweat is not just for the nervous and over-stressed. It's for the healthy - and getting a good sweat going doesn't mean you have to become a gym rat. I’ll show you how to get all of the benefits easily.
Sweating is a built-in body function that can keep you healthy. In fact, if you don't sweat on a regular basis, your body may be holding onto toxins that can lead to serious illness. The truth is, sweating on a regular basis provides a wide range of benefits essential to good health.
Sweating Provides Many Health Benefits
Did you know that the largest organ of your body is your skin? Just like your other organs, your skin serves a critical role in keeping you healthy. When you sweat, your body's thermostat shifts to keep you from overheating. Not only that, sweating also provides these other important benefits:
- Drives out toxins, promoting immune system function
- Kills unhealthy bacteria and viruses that are unable to survive above 98.6 degrees
- Cleans your pores, warding off adult acne, blackheads, and other minor skin irritations
- Helps improve blood circulation, which provides important health benefits
These sweat-produced benefits encourage good overall health. Recent studies show that moderate sweat-producing exercise done on a regular basis appears to reduce the risk of death for any reason. This includes lethal heart attacks and other heart-related events.
Moderate Exercise is Key to Healthy Sweat
Moderate exercise reduces anxiety, lowers blood pressure, promotes weight loss, and improves heart health. It also causes us to sweat.
Starting to sweat as you think about sweating? Don’t worry; you can get all the benefits of sweating without making the gym your new home. Here are some examples of moderate sweat-producing exercises you can do almost anytime, and none of them require a radical lifestyle change:
- Yard work
- House cleaning/vacuuming
- Canoeing, kayaking, or other boat rowing
- Dancing – including swing, polkas, square dancing, and good old rock ‘n roll.
These and many other forms of moderate exercise can cause you to work up a sweat, which is one of the best things you can do for your body. Exercise that produces sweat elevates the body’s temperature. Maintaining an elevated body temperature and sweating on a regular basis provides a number of health benefits, including:
- Increasing your blood plasma levels
- Boosting the volume of blood flowing to your heart and other muscles, which increases your overall endurance
- Adding muscle mass as increased blood flow carries more proteins to the muscles
Sweating Leads Directly to Better Fitness
A study done in 2010 confirmed the connection between sweating and better fitness. Among the findings, fit people actually sweat more when they exercise compared to out- of-shape people doing the same exercises. In addition, fit people start sweating more quickly while exercising than their less fit counterparts.
This difference in sweating between fit (more sweating) and unfit (less sweating) people relates to each group’s ability to generate heat. A fit person can exercise more intensely than an unfit person, causing more body heat and, ultimately, producing more of that health-promoting sweat.
Not surprisingly, the same study also found that on average men sweat more than women – no surprise there. The reason? Men’s bodies are larger, causing more heat to be generated while exercising.
Different Kinds of Sweat
Of course, we sweat in response to exercise or too much heat, but we also sweat when we get anxious or nervous. It turns out that humans have two different kinds of sweat glands. The most common is the eccrine gland, spread out over the entire body. The second is the apocrine gland, located in the armpits and groin area.
The palms of our hands and soles of our feet have a high density of the eccrine glands. These two areas tend to kick in mostly from emotional stimuli. Our armpit sweat glands are activated by both emotions and plain old heat, and the other body areas sweat mostly because of heat.
Emotional sweating is a holdover from the days when our ancestors were taking down big game or fighting. Why? Because moisture on the palms and soles creates friction, causing an improved grip. Overall body sweating primarily serves to cool us off during hard physical activity.
Sweating is a Great Way to Detox
The skin is a primary elimination organ, so if you don’t sweat regularly, your body isn’t eliminating toxins as it should. Even easy, moderate exercise done on a regular basis will help. The goal is to get your skin into the habit of sweating and eliminating toxins, which significantly reduces the level of poisons circulating through the body.
According to a study in the Journal of Environmental and Public Health, a number of poisons are eliminated in the sweat, including lead, mercury, cadmium and arsenic. Sweating is also an efficient way to eliminate toxic trace metals found in the body. In fact, sweating is the recommended treatment for patients with elevated levels of mercury found in the urine.
Detoxing through sweating is also recommended for people with thyroid issues. People with underactive thyroids don’t sweat even when doing mild forms of exercise. Sweating helps these people excrete toxins that impair thyroid function.
People who work up a sweat while moderately exercising on a regular basis enjoy loads of health benefits. For example, they cut their chance of death from heart-related issues by as much as 50 percent, compared to people who only sweat occasionally. In addition, sweating on a regular basis drives out toxins and helps build up the immune system. These and many other benefits can be had from sweating while doing mild, regular exercise. So, get out there and sweat a little.