Sweating has gotten a bad rap in modern society. We’ve been taught (largely by marketing agencies and product manufacturers) that sweating is bad – it makes you stink, stains your clothing, and leaves you unattractive to the opposite sex. The problem here is that sweating is actually really good for you. Not convinced? Here are five surprising health benefits to sweating.
One of the most important benefits here is the fact that you’ll get a rush of feel-good endorphins when you sweat, at least as long as it’s due to physical activity and you’re not stuck in a non-air-conditioned subway car in the middle of July. Physical activity, and the sweating that it creates, have been shown to elevate mood and help improve not just the way you feel mentally and emotionally, but physically, as well.
When you sweat, your pores open up, and your body secretes fluid at an amazing rate. That fluid contains more than just water. Salt is present, of course, but your sweat also includes other elements, such as toxins that hide in your body. This is important for eliminating unwanted things from the foods that you’ve eaten to alcohol from overindulging the night before, and excess calcium.
Improved Skin Health
Sweating might not make your skin look great while you’re doing it, but you’ll definitely notice a difference over time. This is because sweating helps your body rid itself of oils and other blockages that create outbreaks of pimples, as well as dirt and debris that block pores. You’ll find that your skin regenerates (and sloughs off) faster when you sweat a lot, as well, keeping your skin looking younger. Saying that, you still need to protect against skin damage from the sun if you’re exercising outdoors. A little sunscreen can go a long way.
Reduced Risk of Kidney Stones
Kidney stones can be incredibly painful, even requiring surgery in some instances. The cause – excess calcium in your body – can be eliminated by sweating. Again, your sweat does more than just cool you down. It also provides an important release for things that could cause you harm, even if those things are generally good for you.
Human sweat is often thought of as being dirty, but that’s not actually the case. It’s sterile when your body emits it, and believe it or not, it actually has antibacterial properties while you’re physically active. What does that mean for you? Simply put, it can help to heal any minor skin damage you might have, including minor cuts and abrasions. With that being said, don’t let sweat hang around longer than necessary. While it’s initially sterile, it becomes home to fungus and bacteria after several hours, and should be washed off.
As you can see, not only is sweat not something that should be shunned, it should actually be embraced for the myriad of health benefits it offers.