The health advantages of working up a sweat are plentiful, from lifting your mood to improving skin quality. Exercising doesn’t have to be intense — you can reap its rewards with any form of physical activity.
Sweating is an essential bodily function that can reduce the risk of kidney stones, protect your brain from Alzheimer’s disease and enhance moods. Also, sweating helps flush out excess salt and calcium from your system and potentially protect against menopausal hot flashes!
Lowers the Risk of Kidney Stones
Sweating has many health advantages. These include healing surface wounds, cuts, and abrasions, helping regulate body temperature, preventing infections from entering your blood stream, and more.
Sweating is an effective way to rid your kidneys of excess salt and calcium, two elements that may build up in the kidneys and lead to kidney stones. In addition to sweating, reduce sodium consumption as this may increase calcium leakage when you urinate – leading to stone formation.
Additionally, you should reduce your intake of purines – found in red meat, organ meats, and shellfish – which may increase your risk of developing uric acid stones, which are painful and cause much discomfort.
According to the National Kidney Foundation, up to 12 percent of Americans will eventually experience kidney stones. It’s more likely to happen if you have a family history or are overweight or obese.
Exercising regularly can reduce your kidney stone risk. A recent study revealed that women who walked for two to two hours a week reduced their risk for kidney stones by up to 31%.
If your doctor determines that you are more likely to develop a kidney stone, they can work together to create an effective plan to reduce this risk. This may include making changes to your diet and lifestyle as well as taking medications if needed.
Avoid completely eliminating calcium from your diet, as doing so may increase the likelihood of developing a calcium oxalate stone. Instead, incorporate foods high in oxalate like peanuts, rhubarb, spinach, beets, chocolate, and sweet potatoes into your meals; this way, the oxalate, and calcium will bind together before your kidneys do, making it less likely that stones will form.
Protects Your Brain from Alzheimer’s Disease
Exercising regularly not only protects the body against diseases like Alzheimer’s, but it also strengthens your heart and reduces your risk for certain cancers.
Studies suggest that physical activity can improve brain health by improving blood flow and relieving stress. It may also boost levels of BDNF – an important neurotransmitter for maintaining the hippocampus.
According to a new study published in Alzheimer’s & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association, exercising can also protect your brain from Alzheimer’s by preventing protein buildup. This may reduce amyloid plaques and tau proteins – two hallmarks of the disorder – from forming on neural surfaces.
Casaletto observed that older adults who moved more had lower levels of these toxic proteins in their brains than those who sat still for long periods. This accumulation of proteins typically occurs over a lifetime, leading to the disintegration of synapses and neurons.
This could be because when you work up a sweat, your heart rate increases and causes your lungs to expand, allowing more oxygen into your brain.
According to a recent study published in Physiological Reports, sweating may also contribute to detoxifying your body through sweat. When you perspire, your body excretes heavy metals like mercury, cadmium, and lead that would otherwise accumulate.
However, the concentration of these toxins in sweat is minimal and quickly eliminated through urine and stools. Sweating doesn’t appear to impact detoxification much; therefore, it’s always wise to consult your doctor before engaging in any heat or strenuous exercise to ensure you don’t put yourself at risk for health complications.
Boosts Your Mood
Exercise is often associated with weight loss and muscle growth, but it also has been known to lift your spirits and reduce stress levels. Though scientists still don’t fully understand why movement does this, experts speculate it has something to do with increased blood flow to the brain and endorphins – those feel-good hormones – being released.
These chemicals can make us feel happier, euphoric, and calm. Not only are they beneficial for those suffering from depression, but they may also ease anxiety or reduce stress in those recovering from mental illnesses like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
The great thing is you don’t have to devote a lot of time to exercise to reap these rewards. Even a quick morning walk can help you start on the right foot with a more positive outlook.
Four million sweat glands in the human body produce clear salt-based fluid in response to stimuli like emotions or hormones that regulate body temperature. According to dermatologist Cameron West of U.S. Dermatology Partners in Wichita, Kansas, sweat also helps maintain electrolyte levels, eliminates waste products and some medications, and moisturizes skin tissue.
Sweating not only helps regulate body temperature, it also improves circulation and rids the body of toxins. It’s a great way to unwind after an intense workout or stressful day, plus it may reduce risk factors for heart disease and lower blood pressure levels.
Baths with hot water can also provide numerous health benefits. The heat of the water stimulates endorphins in your body, leading to feelings of well-being and relaxation. Enhancing this experience by adding essential oils or scented candles further increases this endorphin rush.
Sweating is a natural body function that can improve mood, beautify skin, and remove toxins. Furthermore, it is one of the primary ways your body cools down – making it an effective stress buster.
When under stress, your body produces cortisol and adrenaline. While these hormones may help you navigate short-term difficulties, they may harm your health.
Exercise is a natural way to reduce stress, releasing endorphins that make you feel good. Plus, exercise has been known to boost mental strength to better handle stressful situations.
Exercise can be especially beneficial if you’re nervous before an important event, so try to fit it into your schedule. Exercising also helps combat nervous sweating, which is common among those who experience anxiety.
If you’re feeling anxious after your workout, try calming exercises or listen to music before or during those stressful activities. These are known as autoregulation exercises and involve deep breathing and muscular relaxation.
You can also try diaphragmatic breathing, which involves inhaling and exhaling slowly while expanding your belly as you breathe. Studies have demonstrated that this breathing method reduces levels of cortisol–the stress hormone–and can help you relax quickly when feeling tense.
Talk to a therapist or join a support group if you struggle to reduce your stress levels. This will help you understand what’s causing your discomfort and how best to address it. Plus, being part of an organized support system allows for understanding that other people share similar struggles as yourself.
Improves Your Skin
Sweat is an all-natural skin conditioner, so it’s no shock that it can improve your complexion.
Sweating has many benefits, not least of which is hydrating. But it also plays a role in preventing inflammation by activating heat-shock proteins to protect other proteins, repair any damage done and encourage new healthy ones to form.
Sweat contains antimicrobial peptides such as dermcidin that kill bacteria on the surface of your skin, helping to reduce the risk of infection, acne breakouts, and flare-ups in chronic conditions like psoriasis or rosacea.
Additionally, sweating helps your pores open and unclog by allowing dirt, oil, and bacteria to exit through them. However, cleanse both face and body after exercising so that no bacteria returns to clogged pores again.
Your sweat carries away water and salts that exfoliate your skin, helping to eliminate dead cells and prevent the buildup of grime or other toxins on the surface.
Additionally, it can increase blood circulation to your skin, giving it a brighter and younger-looking complexion.
Finally, the urea in your sweat helps moisturize your skin by acting as a humectant and decreasing dryness.
Sweating can have its advantages, but it also has the potential to harm your skin in certain ways. If you have sensitive or eczema-prone skin, the sodium found in sweat may irritate it or cause chafing. Furthermore, bacteria found in sweat contribute to unpleasant odors and clogged pores. If you think sweating may harm your complexion, consult a dermatologist for further evaluation.