Don't let a heatwave put you off exercising! FG Founder Michele Pernetta explains why we should embrace getting a good sweat on...
It's common knowledge that sweating regulates the amount of heat in the body. When it's hot, the body excretes moisture that evaporates from the body carrying heat along with it. When it's cold, the body readjusts to prevent sweating and subsequently prevents water evaporation leading to the conservation of heat. Here are some other lesser known benefits.
Six Benefits of Sweating
- Sweating can soothe muscle soreness experts say. Exercise stimulates neurochemical pathways in the brain, resulting in the production of endorphins that act as natural painkillers, says James Ting, M.D., a sports medicine physician at Hoag Orthopedic Institute in Irvine, CA.
- Sweating is considered a form of innate immunity in animals. Sweat is composed of water and minerals like calcium, sodium, potassium and magnesium. It is acidic due to the presence of lactate and urea and these substances can be toxic to microorganisms living on the skin. So if you walk around wiping everything with sanitizer wipes to prevent illness, you might be in luck. A study from Eberhard-Karls-University in Germany suggests that human perspiration contains a naturally occurring antimicrobial peptide called dermcidin, which has been proven to fight tuberculosis germs and other dangerous pathogens, says Dr. Bowe.
- Sweating rids the body of toxins. Some experts believe that sweating can flush the body of system-clogging substances like alcohol, cholesterol and salt. Sweating can help eliminate harmful bacteria and toxic wastes from the body. Sweating can assist the body in eliminating excess wastes. Dirt from your pores accumulates on the surface of your skin, so aim to wash your skin after you sweat. especially after sports or working out.
- Sweating regulates your mood. It seems natural that we associate feeling warm with a sense of well-being and relaxation. Research has shown that temperature-sensitive neural circuits to specific regions in the brain exist and may play a significant role in controlling mood.
- Sweating lowers kidney stone risk. Research from the University of Washington found that regular exercisers sweat out salt and tend to retain calcium in their bones, rather than having the salt and calcium go into the kidneys and urine where stones can form. Frequent sweaters also tend to drink more water and fluids, which is a stone formation prevention practice.
- Sweating is a sign of health! Not only is sweat sexy, sweat is vital. People who are most in-shape will sweat the most and the most quickly because their bodies are conditioned," says Neal Pire, a New York-based personal trainer and fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine.
When you work out, muscle contractions generate heat. If you exercise regularly, you're better able to cope, for two reasons: 1) the volume of your blood which carries oxygen to exerted muscles is 20 percent higher, and this provides the fluid for sweating. 2) you start sweating sooner, because your body has been programmed to recognize the need for cooling faster. (Also, the more efficient you become at sweating, the better you hold on to sodium, which prevents muscle cramping.) This, in turn, means you'll be able to work out longer.
"It's the reason why a sweaty body looks attractive to people," says Michael Bergeron, executive director of the National Institute for Athletic Health & Performance. "The image implies active, fit, tough, and resilient."
Perspiring is good for you. We should be doing more of it.
Disadvantages of Sweating
There are, of course, some disadvantages of sweating worth noting. Too much sweating can lead to offensive body odour. When water evaporates form the skin, solid material like urea, lactate and salts are left behind. These substances will release unpleasant smells from the individual if not washed away.
Too much sweating can also leave us dehydrated. It is important to drink a lot of water and take electrolytes such as salts in hot climates. But normal sweating in hot climates is not bad for you.
Tips For Healthy Sweat
- Ensure you are hydrated prior to working out.
- Drink whenever you need to.
- If you feel overheated, or dizzy, sit down, find a cool space, sit down, and drink cool water, drink electrolytes/sports recovery drink.
- If you stop sweating, sit down, cool down, drink electrolytes, take some Himalayan salt, sports drink.
- Seek medical advice if you feel unwell, experience nausea, headache, confusion, shortness of breath or faintness.
Inspired? Book your first FG Hot Yoga class at your closest studio.