Health benefits of sweating
No one likes looking sweaty. In fact, sometimes the thought of getting all hot and sweaty is actually enough to put us off working out in the first place. We’ve been brought up believing that sweating is not nice, that women should ‘glow’ not sweat, that those little sweat patches we sometimes get under our arms are not something we want. But did you realise that sweating actually has some health benefits?
It improves our mood
When we exercise we feel happy and there’s a scientific reason for that. When we sweat, we release endorphins. Endorphins are the feel good chemicals in our bodies, which help ease stress and anxiety and make you feel happier and more relaxed.
It helps our skin
It has always been thought that sweating is the worst thing ever when it comes to keeping your skin spot-free, but this could have been wrong. Dr Virginia Hubbard, Consultant Dermatologist at London Bridge Hospital says “Sweating is an essential part of our skin health,” “It can have the same effect on skin health as a facial treatment – the pores enlarge and the dirt and dead skin cells on the surface are cleared away.” Word of warning though, you can’t just sweat and go as all that dirt from your pores will accumulate on the surface of your skin. So aim to clean your face three times a day. And don’t forget to apply the SPF.
It clears the body of toxins
Sweating is a massive detoxifier for our bodies and can help clear the kidneys of excess salt and calcium buildup. So even though the gym is the last place you may feel like heading the morning after the night before, a sweaty work-out could de-bloat you, clean your clogged arteries and help cure your hangover.
It keeps illnesses at bay
A study from Eberhard Karls University Tubingen in Germany suggests that human perspiration contains a naturally occurring antimicrobial peptide called dermcidin. Dermcidin helps to fight off bad bacteria that our skin comes into contact with. So sweat acts as a kind of invisible force field against germs. Plus sweating can help with the healing process. When we get a cut or a wound, our bodies sweat out dermcidin to help kill potential bacteria, and help cuts and grazes to heal.
It regulates body temperature
Sweating acts as our own personal air conditioning system helping to maintain and regulate our body temperature. When our skin gets wet with sweat, it feels cooler. Then, as that sweat evaporates into the air, heat is removed as well.
It lowers risk of kidney stones
Research from the University of Washington found that regular exercisers sweat out salt and tend to retain calcium in their bones, rather than the salt and calcium going into the kidneys where stones form. People who sweat frequently also tend to drink more water, which can act as another stone prevention mechanism.