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Sweat for Good Health

When I was a kid and someone asked me to do something that was relatively easy, I would typically respond with “no sweat.” As an adult, my children gave me a book for one of my birthdays, titled “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff – And It’s All Small Stuff.” It was a good read, but really not everything is small, and some things are supposed to make you sweat. In our culture, sweating is considered poor form, inappropriate, and even gross. In fact, in our modern society it has been said that women don’t sweat, they glisten. I guess that’s a more socially acceptable term for the same thing.

The skin is the largest organ in the human body, and a normal person has between 2–4 million sweat glands, with women averaging more than men. Any number of things can cause a person to sweat, like summer temperatures, physical exertion, emotional stress, fevers, and even spicy foods. Have you eaten a jalapeno lately? But, chances are, if you don’t exercise regularly, you probably don’t sweat much. That’s a shame though, because there are so many advantages.

Among the benefits to having a good sweat are:

  1. Temperature regulation through evaporation. This is the way the body keeps itself from overheating. Without sweat, heat stroke and heat exhaustion would be a constant danger.
  2. Weight loss. Sweating alone burns up to 300 calories an hour, for instance on a hot day or in a sauna bath. That’s beside the number that can be burned by a physical activity you may be participating in.
  3. General health bonuses:
    1. Unclogs the pores, flushing away toxins and impurities from the system even faster than the kidneys. The more often you sweat, the less offensive the odor is too.
    2. As little as one hour of exercise induced sweat per week can lower blood pressure and improve mood by releasing endorphins. You’ve probably heard of runners’ high.
    3. Secretes small amounts of an antibiotic called Dermcidin that helps combat infection.
    4. Boosts immune system.
    5. Purifies the blood and lymph systems.
    6. Fights sickness. Most bacteria and microbes can only live in a very narrow temperature band. The body creates fever to burn out the offending organism and then returns to normal. Causing the body to sweat creates a temporary artificial fever each time that keeps the bad bugs in check before they can cause any problems.

Sweating does a body good. So walk, peddle, run, exercise, and sauna yourself until it flows. Go sweat, perspire, and glisten for your health.

Learn more about Dr. Steve Weston

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