It is a well known fact that sweating cleanses your body. When you sweat, your body undergoes a series of processes that allow for the release of toxins and an increase in metabolism. Sweat is made up mostly of water but also contains minerals, urea, lactic acid, ammonia and sugar. Your body regulates it’s temperature with sweat. When you run long distances or exercise in hot weather, for example, your muscles exert themselves and your body overheats. Sweating is your body’s way of bringing your temperature back to normal.
When you exert yourself you breathe faster, your heart works more, your circulation improves and your metabolism accelerates, and you sweat. All of this happens in order for your body to regain its regular temperature. Because your circulation is increased during sweating, many toxins and impurities are able to exit your body through open skin pores. This is a good reason to exercise to the point of sweating or alternatively, sit in a steam room regularly.
Aside from the obvious physiological reasons and benefits, sweat affects various other aspects of your body positively.
Your skin also benefits from sweating. When you sweat, your skin pores open and dirt/impurities on the surface layers of the skin have a chance to exit. Sweating regularly, if followed by proper cleansing, can help you to achieve softer and smoother skin.
Your immune system gets stronger as you sweat. When your body heats up from the workout, it generates more white blood cells to battle diseases and fortify your body. This, in turn strengthens your immune system.
Research shows that regular exercise and sufficient water intake allows people to flush their system more efficiently and helps to control the onset of kidney stones. Sweating during exercise leads the body to ask for more hydration, which in turn keeps the kidneys flushed.
Here’s a quick suggestion for anyone who would like to up the ante with their sweat production – running with a sweatshirt during hot/warm days will make you sweat more, but it isn’t effective in the way you think it might be. Covering your skin in layers of clothing only makes it harder for your body to cool down effectively. Heat cannot escape when you’re layered up on a hot day. If you’re wearing a sweatshirt unnecessarily on a run, you’re just losing water weight that will return as soon as you take a swig from a water bottle. Which is why we don’t recommend many layers of clothing when running, even in cold weather. Your body will naturally warm up after your pre-run training. Wear appropriate clothing, and sweat it out with hard work.
Main image: US Army Garrison Red Cloud – Casey