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.

Marianne February 24, 2013 at 5:24 pm

Hey, thanks for this post, a (perhaps ironically) refreshing topic to see covered!

If I may, I’d like to recommend a couple of things that will hopefully encourage you to keep blogging and make your stuff more readable.

I am a bit of a pedant, but we all make mistakes and I always ask people to tell me if they spot something. So, my advice is: proof-read! Use your in-built spellcheckers and try to read it through to make sure it makes sense. It’s hard when you’ve written it yourself; it’s in your head and it’s tough to get the distance to find out how fresh eyes might see it.

The (admittedly individually small) errors in your post can make it a little difficult to get through. Also I’d consider using some sub-headings to structure the post and let people know what you’re covering at a glance.

I think you’ve covered an interesting topic concisely – I also really like your closing statement!

I’ll list the errors etc. that I spotted here but feel free to edit this part of my comment out once you’ve read them, if you like!

1st para:
– perhaps put “let’s face it” in brackets; it’s a sub-clause and without adding more commas (you’ve already got a few at the start of the sentence), it’s a bit distracting left as it is in the main sentence.
– “whether we like it or not” rather than “whether we’d like it”
– You don’t need a full-stop after “when we’re nervous” – the second part of that doesn’t stand alone as a sentence (“Like…”), so it needs to be attached to the first bit.

2nd para:
– everyday is an adjective; you could describe an occurrence or a product as ‘everyday’, what you want there is every day – all the days!
– check for repeating certain words and phrases close to each other (every day in this case!)
– some punctuation needed in “situations sometimes” – a semicolon would work, as you’re elaborating on your previous statement

4th para:
– a colon would work better than a comma to introduce what sweat glands are. Or you could put “which are” instead.
– Perhaps rethink “private parts” as a phrase; that’s a very personal distinction (it might not always be the case, or refer to what you’re thinking!) and it is a sciencey post, I’m sure you can use “genitals” and not worry about raising any eyebrows :)

5th para:
– You’ve got an errant “an” in the first sentence.

7th para:
– liver and kidney*s*. There are two in most cases!
– as [liver and kidneys] is a plural “thing”, you need “do” rather than “does”
– I would change “as you read above” to something like “as I said before” – it’s better to treat your piece as if you’re telling someone, rather than reminding people that they’re reading through something!

Final para:
– It’s rather than its. Loads of people mix this one up!
– you don’t need to capitalise after a colon, so, “heart: exercise”

Sorry for the long list! Checking for errors can really improve readability and make your writing look that bit more professional :)

Loon February 25, 2013 at 5:01 pm

Hi! Interesting article, but I found the paragraph about toxins a bit confusing. You’re saying that sweating does not remove alcohol and environmental toxins, but then which toxins does it remove? Also, this paragraph is part of a list of positive effects that come in addition to cooling the body, so reiterating that it cools the body sounds strange, as if you were trying to save a weak argument. Also, I saw a typo in the fourth paragraph, when you wrote that the eccrine glands are located in the feed.

Anna February 28, 2013 at 9:27 am

I did’nt think I would enjoy this blog but I really did. I liked how you included all the positve things about sweating and also the bad things about it. I never knew that sweating is good for ur skin, my head I always use to think that the more you sweat the more zits you would get. I found it a bit dry at points…I don’t think this blog lived up to its name,the name sounds like it would be a semi funny blog but still have to do with science, it’s not at all that. After reading this I still have a questions about sweating, what if you over work your body and sweat more than Normal, would that still make be good for your body or not? When you over sweat can that give you zits, like if u don’t shower after you over sweat will you get zits? #SPX9

Jay.C February 28, 2013 at 9:28 am

I liked how you told us how sweat can benefit us and uncorage us to sweat more. I didn’t know about how is can clean your skin like rashes and pimples and it also very good for your heart. Some thing I might add is maybe add some negative affects on sweating. I have 1 question about this article is it possible to have to have to much sweat in a day like over sweat. This was a great article thanks # SPX9

Stefano February 28, 2013 at 9:29 am

Hi! That was a great article, I really liked how it was structured, you gave some examples of when you sweat, you explained what sweat was and you also gave all the positive benefits that come with sweating which I really enjoyed reading.
I was pretty firmiliar with some of your points but what amazed me was your last three paragraphs about how sweat gives you cleaner skin, how sweat removes toxins and how it’s good for your heart, it amazed me because I was never aware of that, I never would have thought that sweating could be so healthy for you so I was happy to read about those benefits.
I enjoy playing many sports and doing physical activity so I do sweat a lot, people have told me that sweating can give you more zits but after reading your article and reading that sweat gives you cleaner skin made me realize that sweat actually does give you cleaner skin because as I said, I do sweat a lot and as a 15 year old boy, im not likely to have clean and clear skin but I do so i can really relate to that point of cleaner skin.
Some people sweat much more than others do, is there a scientific reason for that?

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