Sweating out in an exercise regimen shows that your body is active and that you are well hydrated. It can also help to detox your lymphatic system and keep your body free from harmful bacteria. Sweating more rejuvenates your body as a whole and gives you the urge to drink more water that keeps you hydrated and active all through the day.
Sweating also helps to maintain the body temperature as the heat that is built up in the body is lost through sweat. However, excessive sweating can make you dehydrated or can be an indicator of illnesses like heart failure, diabetes, and thyroid problems.1 So, let us see how sweating can be beneficial or problematic for the health of your body and skin.
Health Benefits Of Sweating
1. Sweating Flushes Out Toxins
Sweating is the perfect way to detox yourself of all the toxins that you accumulate in your body each day. It is the body’s way of sending out these harmful chemicals from the body. Urban areas see more of its inhabitants heading out to saunas for body detox sessions. Induced sweating has proven to be an effective process to get rid of most of the chemicals found in the human body.
Regular exercise regimens can also induce sweating to bring out the toxins from the body. Sweating along with the urinary process, where kidneys play an important role, are the body’s vital natural processes to get rid of everyday toxins like arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury.2
2. Sweating Cleanses The Lymph Glands
The process of sweating has a close connection with the lymphatic system, which is the body’s drainage system. It is responsible for cleansing the lymph nodes and easy circulation of lymph around the body. The clogging of unwanted substances causes fluid retention in the lymph nodes, leading to several diseases. This is because the lymphatic system helps the white blood cells and antibodies travel to all parts of the body.
The toxins, too, move around the body via the lymphatic system that gets drained by sweating through the skin. Sweating also regulates hormones and keeps the kidney and liver functioning well by reducing the burden of filtering out toxins.3
3. Sweating Regulates Body Temperature
Have you ever wondered why you sweat more in the warm summer months than in winter? It is because the body adjusts to the external temperature by letting out the excess heat from the body via sweating. The same applies to winter where the body retains the heat by not sweating out more to keep the heat in the body.
This is also the reason behind excessive sweating while working out in a gym or doing an intense physical activity. The body loses the excess heat built up in the process by sweating out to keep the body cool. Sweating is a way by which the body regulates its temperature and keeps it at a manageable level.4
4. Sweating Gives You Clear Skin
The instant glow that emanates from your face when you do a quick cleanup after a yoga or gym session is a consequence of sweating out the impurities from your skin. It is also an effective method to get rid of acne because sweat takes out the excess oil from the skin, too. The excess oil or sebum in the skin is a major factor for acne breakouts and sweating out controls the presence and concentration of sebum on the skin.5However, sweating isn’t always that great, and there can be problems because of excessive sweating.
Effects Of Excessive Sweating
1. Excessive Sweating Can Cause Dehydration
Though sweating is an important protective process of the body, excessive sweating can indicate minor to major health issues. Sweating out more can reduce the water content in the body and cause dehydration and fatigue. It can also indicate underlying conditions like diabetes, heart attack, Parkinson’s disease, thyroid problems, kidney issues, or infection. Night sweats are also a common symptom of life-threatening illnesses like cancer. Excessive sweating accompanied by dizziness can also indicate high blood pressure.6
2. Bad Odor Can Mean A Health Issue
Stinking sweat can be embarrassing for many. But did you know that it can actually be a sign of health issues in the body? It can indicate problems in the digestive system, dehydration, and stress- or skin-related issues. Though it can be related to hygiene conditions most of the times, consult a doctor if your body odor turns heads away. Bad breath and, worse, smelly body odor are indicative of certain diseases like diabetes.7
Head out for some exercise or a yoga session to sweat out toxins from the body. Also, exercise caution in using antiperspirants as some of them are known to hinder the process of perspiration, thus eliminating the benefits of sweating out.
|↑1||Genuis, Stephen J., Detlef Birkholz, Ilia Rodushkin, and Sanjay Beesoon. “Blood, urine, and sweat (BUS) study: monitoring and elimination of bioaccumulated toxic elements.” Archives of environmental contamination and toxicology 61, no. 2 (2011): 344-357.|
|↑2||Sears, Margaret E., Kathleen J. Kerr, and Riina I. Bray. “Arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury in sweat: a systematic review.” Journal of environmental and public health 2012 (2012).|
|↑3||Donovan, Sean. Health and Happiness: an owner’s manual for the mind and body. AuthorHouse, 2010.|
|↑4||Cannon, Walter Bradford. “Homeostasis.” The wisdom of the body. Norton, New York (1932).|
|↑5||de Castro, Maria Dolores Luque. “Sweat as a clinical sample: what is done and what should be done.” (2015).|
|↑6||Hyperhidrosis. United States National Library of Medicine.|
|↑7||Shirasu, Mika, and Kazushige Touhara. “The scent of disease: volatile organic compounds of the human body related to disease and disorder.” The Journal of Biochemistry 150, no. 3 (2011): 257-266.|