Health Benefits of Sweating

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To sweat or not to sweat? You’re better off with the first option, which, of course, comes naturally. Here are 10 benefits of sweating.

— Sweat is a built-in cooling system. The skin is covered with millions of sweat glands that cool like air-conditioning ducts.

—Humans typically produce from a half-quart to a full-quart of sweat per hour depending on gender.

—Sweat’s main job is to cool down the body. However, stress, anxiety and excitement can also cause sweating. Foods and beverages that increase anxiety, such as coffee and tea, can ramp it up too.

— Sweat is mostly water, a little salt and trace amounts of other mostly dietary substances including potassium, chloride, calcium, magnesium, copper, zinc and iron.

— The human body has two types of sweat glands. One is near the skin surface and has cooling properties. They produce a watery substance and are present in skin tissue from head to toe and concentrated on the brow, hands and feet. The other type of sweat gland is in human hair follicles. This produces a thicker substance that includes fatty acids and protein byproducts. When broken down by bacteria, this kind of sweat emits nitrogen and carbon compounds as well as ammonia. Unpleasant odor and staining might result.

— Men typically sweat more and easier than women while exercising. Women carry less water and sweat less to prevent dehydration. It’s an evolutionary trait.

— As skin changes during the aging process, sweat glands produce less sweat. This increases the risk of heat stroke. So remember to drink lots of water when exercising.

— Sweat glands produce a natural skin barrier that emits a natural antibiotic, which fights germs and infections, and help prevent bacteria from reaching the kidneys.

— Sweating is a mood changer. A good workout is great way to lift your spirits. That’s because the more you sweat the higher your feel-good hormones rise. Those hormones are known as endorphins.

— Sweating cuts accumulation of salt and calcium in the kidneys and urine. It also stimulates thirst. This washing out of the system has multiple benefits, which includes reducing the formation of kidney stones.

So do yourself a favor and sweat for at least 30 minutes a day. Simply move your body until you drench yourself, and be sure to have fun in the process.

Lisa Burbage

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