Mama Said Make You Sweat

by aturne on February 22, 2013

Photo courtesy of PhotoPin via Arnett Gill.


Sweat. It’s wet, sticky, smelly, and let’s face it sometimes it’s just plain gross. All of us do it, whether we’d like it or not. We sweat during a long run or even during a zumba class. That’s when we expect to sweat. Other times we sweat when we’re nervous. Like before a big presentation or even a first date. All of this makes sweating sound negative; it actually benefits your body.

We sweat everyday whether it is freezing cold or like an oven outside. Sweating is a natural process that we do everyday. Our bodies need to cool down when they generate too much heat from our metabolism or working muscles. So our bodies release sweat to bring our body temperature back to a comfortable 98.6° Fahrenheit. We sweat in different types of situations sometimes it’s a response to our environment like a warm climate or a workout session. Having sweat on your body is actually good for you because the process of sweat evaporating off the surface of your skin actually cools you.  

Other times sweating is a more emotional response to a stressful event. In a situation that makes you nervous or scared, your body has increased sympathetic nerve activity. So the increased stimulation triggers the sweat glands, especially in your palms and armpits.

So what is it? Sweat is basically water and salt. Your body has sweat glands, long, coiled, hollow tubes of cells that are connected to nerve cells of our sympathetic nervous system. These glands produce sweat and transport it to your pores to be released. We have two different types of sweat glands: eccrine and apocrine. Most of our sweat glands are eccrine and are located on our hands, feed and forehead. Apocrine sweat glands are around our armpits and private parts. The main difference is that apocrine sweat glands typically end in hair follicles rather than our pores.

Photo courtesy of PhotoPin via Michael Connell.

Even though sweating may be an unpleasant and not super attractive looking, it is good for you. Not only does sweating cool your body down, but it also has other health benefits.

Cleaner skin:  As sweat leaves our bodies it helps unclog our pores. Excessive build up can cause skin infections like pimples and rashes. Sweating prevents this build up and help clear up our skin. If done regularly, heavy sweating can help slow down skin damage and early signs of aging. Also, when paired with washing, sweating can leave your skin with a softer and suppler texture.

Removing toxins: Our bodies accumulate toxins over time. Sweating can help remove some of the toxins from our body. This does not mean that sweating will remove all the alcohol and environmental toxins from your body, your liver and kidney does that. However, the process is important because as you read above it helps cool your body down to a normal temperature.

Its good for your heart: Exercise is a common reason for us to sweat. When you exercise you breathe faster and your heart works harder to improve circulation. This helps return your body to a normal temperature. Sweating due to regular exercise works your heart and your body reaps the benefits.

So in this case, go ahead and sweat the small stuff.