I didn’t always think sweat was beautiful. I remember walking out of a spin class looking like I had just walked out of the shower. At first, I was horrified at how much I would sweat. But as I’ve gotten older I’ve learned to embrace it. Not only does it mean that my body is naturally detoxifying, but it means that I’m strong and healthy enough to push myself to the point of leaving a puddle on the floor.
Let me be clear, this post is not about sweating due to anxiety or an illness. This is about moving our bodies in order to sweat and to reap the benefits of sweating during exercise.
Why does our body sweat?
Our bodies sweat to regulate our internal temperature and to cool itself. We have millions of sweat glands all over our bodies and when our internal temperature rises, the sweat glands kick in to release sweat onto our skin. As the sweat evaporates, our skin and the blood beneath it is cooled and our temperature is naturally reduced.
Sweat is primarily comprised of water and minerals known as electrolytes. If we are in a hot or humid environment, its important to stay hydrated and you may want to replenish your electrolytes to maintain your energy levels.
There are differing opinions about whether or not sweating actually releases toxins from the body. Most articles state that our kidneys and liver do most of our bodies detoxifying actions; however, a few of them believe that we can release a small amount of toxins through sweat. Some even state that bacteria can be released through sweat. There is also research showing that sweat can help our bodies release chemicals such as BPA or PCB. Regardless of whether or not sweat is releasing chemicals, toxins or bacteria, its certainly not going to hurt us.
After a good sweat session, I feel absolutely energized. Yes, there are days that the last thing I feel like doing is exercising. But once I get moving and start to break a sweat, my energy levels increase. If I’m having a rough day or am feeling a bit under the weather, a good sweat session always improves my mood and makes me feel happy. There are so many times that I finish a workout having the confidence that I can take on whatever life is going to throw my way. Sweating also gives my skin that flushed beautiful glow and generally makes me feel alive.
So, the next time you break a sweat, know that you’re doing something good for your body, mind and soul. And remember, there is beauty in the sweaty mess.