There are two types of people in this world: those who love to sweat and those who would rather chew lemon rinds.
If you’re in the former camp, great! You already know that you just feel good when – and after – you break a sweat.
If you’re in the latter group, then maybe this article will make you think twice the next time you skip the gym. Here are the 4 ways sweating is … yes … good for you.
Sweat Doesn’t Stink, Y’all!
There are a lot of people who just would rather not (ever, ever) sweat. That’s because when you sweat, you have a few unpleasant side effects. First, there’s the visible evidence that you’ve walked up those stairs. Your underarms are wet, and that’s super embarrassing.
Secondly, of course, there’s the body odor. No one wants to be “that guy” or “that girl” who walks through the office leaving a pitted smell behind.
But sweat doesn’t actually stink. There are a few things that can affect the natural scent you emit, like your hormones, your diet or even your clothing. But, as a general rule, sweat is very un-stinky.
What happens is that the sweat from inside your body reacts with the bacteria on the outside of your body. As you know, bacteria love to grow where it’s dark and damp. For instance, your armpits. Sweat is high in protein, which is very good at breaking down these harmful bacteria. The result? Body odor.
There are things that can cause your sweat to smell more noticeably. These can be related to your diet. Foods that affect body odor include:
- Some spices, like turmeric
Your sweat may smell different because of your hormones, too. Or your sleep patterns. Or, as mentioned, your clothes. Did you know that synthetic materials can change the smell of your sweat?
Anyway, it’s not your sweat that stinks. It’s the reaction of your sweat with the bacteria on your skin that causes that dreaded body odor.
Still want to wear your antiperspirant and (not) sweat it out? Here are the top 4 ways sweat is actually good for you.
1. Sweat is a natural detox
Did you know that sweat can actually help release toxins from your body? Now, that doesn’t mean that your sweat is a viable way of ridding your body of all toxins. That said, your skin is an organ – your body’s largest organ, in fact. And, like any other organ, your skin helps eliminate foreign substances from your body.
Scientists have found that heavy metals like mercury, lead and even arsenic can be found in sweat. Phthalates are released when you sweat, too. So go ahead – break a sweat! It’s one of the easiest ways to help your body naturally detox.
2. Sweat helps clear your pores
If you’re one of the millions of people who suffer from ace, sweat may be the solution for you! Remember that sweat kills bacteria. That includes the bacteria which causes blemishes, acne and blackheads.
Of course, it’s important that you shower and wash with a good soap after you work out. But sweat is quite effective on its own at naturally regulating the bacteria on your body.
3. Sweat can help prevent health conditions
Did you know that sweating can help reduce your risk of kidney stones? That sweating may help prevent colds, the flu and even tuberculosis?
Sweat contains substances called peptides, which are effective in protecting you against fungi, viruses and bacteria. Doctors and scientists who have studied these effects have proven that peptides called dermcidin kill the agents responsible for many diseases.
Sweat also aids your kidneys by flushing out your system more efficiently. This can help prevent kidney stones.
4. Sweating boosts endorphins
Note that we said sweating boosts endorphins. Endorphins are the body’s natural feel good hormones, and when you exercise or sweat in other ways, these hormones are released. So, while it’s not necessarily the sweat that makes you feel better, you’re pretty much guaranteed to feel better when you do get some activity.
Put Sweat to Work for You
You don’t have to pound pavement to get the full benefits of sweat. There are a number of ways you can put sweat to work for you without ever stepping foot in the gym. Here are a few ideas:
- Take a trip to the sauna. Now, remember that the sauna isn’t a great idea for everyone. The extreme temperatures may do more harm than good for people who have severe heart diseases. Clear your sauna trip with your doctor before you go. For everyone else, the sauna is a great way to break a sweat while you relax! Plus, research shows that a trip to the sauna can actually add to the benefits you’ll get from your workout.
- Drink plenty of water before you get hot. Of course, you’re doing this anyway, right? When you drink plenty of fluid, you’re further improving your body’s ability to sweat, release toxins, kill bacteria and take advantage of the benefits of sweating.
- Can’t get to the sauna? Try a sauna shaper shirt and/or belt. These make you look great whether you’re working out or not – they’re slimming and form fitting, and no one even needs to know what they’re for. Sauna shaper apparel can increase the amount of sweat your body produces by as much as three to five times. Plus, they’re lightweight so you won’t feel too hot.
- Switch to deodorant. Instead of using antiperspirant, which clogs your sweat glands, consider making the switch to deodorant instead. Antiperspirants contain aluminums which can be harmful to your health, and which can create a backup of toxins in your glands. Using deodorant will keep the body odor away, yet allow you to experience the benefits of sweating.
Ready, Get Set, Sweat!
If you have any concerns about sweating and your health, you know what to do. Go get the advice of your doctor before you make an attempt to increase your sweating. Once you’re cleared for action, try it out! You’ll love the way your skin looks and your body feels after you break a sweat, no matter how you choose to do it!
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