Whilst the main reason our bodies sweat is to regulate our body temperature (keeps us from having a heat stroke and keeps our internal organs functioning properly) it also helps to ward off bacteria, protect the kidneys and several other healthy functions which is why for centuries, cultures have incorporated the act of sweating into their regular rituals and customs, think Roman baths, Aboriginal sweat lodges, Scandinavian saunas and Turkish baths.
Every day we’re exposed to a steady stream of chemicals and heavy metals — from the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat even to the clothing we wear. The body naturally eliminates these toxins via the lungs (breathing), kidneys (weeing), GI tract (pooping) and skin (sweating), with the liver helping to transform harmful substances into easy to eliminate forms.
Sweating is not only natural but it’s also beneficial to your entire system; studies show that as well as removing impurities from your skin, sweat glands produce an antimicrobial peptide, Dermcidin, that attacks any bacteria (like E. coli and Staphylococcus aureus) on our skin.
Toxins are pushed to the surface when you sweat, this can help reduce the accumulation of sodium and calcium in your kidneys, a build up of which causes kidney stones.
Looking for healthier, clearer skin – sweating helps to release bacteria and dirt from your pores – as long as it’s not left to sit on the skin for too long, otherwise it can irritate the skin. Anytime you build up a sweat take a quick shower – if you’re feeling brave, turn the nozzle to cold at the end of the shower which will help close off pores and delay the accumulation of dirt and grime.
One of the ways you can build up a sweat is by sitting in a sauna or steam room – you knew there had to be a reason spas have relied on steam rooms and saunas for so many years right! Other ways include high-intensity workouts, a raunchy session in the bedroom, hiking up into the hills on a hot day.
Whatever way you choose to build up a sweat, just remember to replenish what you sweat out by sipping plenty of water throughout the day and drinking a little more during and after a vigorous workout.