I have heard many of my clients and other people tell me that they don’t sweat. They don’t even glisten. Some people I know would rather die than sweat. The thought of being damp with their own droplets of bodily fluid makes them gag. Why are we so against this natural occurrence?
What are you really excreting out of those pores when you perspire? I’ve heard that you can sweat out toxins and cleanse your body of all the waste to which it was subjected. There are spas and fitness clubs that promote a relaxing treatment or workout where you can rejuvenate your whole body by creating a gentle sweat that purifies the entire system. Sounds great, doesn’t it? Maybe this is what those that I spoke about above are so opposed to. But come on, why wouldn’t you want to be healthier with a gentle shine?
Some of us would love to just sit in a sauna or under the sun and sweat out some of those carcinogens that we inhaled and ingested during our recent barbecue. Unfortunately, you could swim in your own pool of sweat (gross, I know) and those toxins would still be floating in your body. Our body is comprised of 60% water and when we sweat, our moist skin is soaked with just that; water.1 According to an article published from the National Geographic, we also sweat out minerals and trace amounts of toxins.2 “But wait a moment, didn’t you say you don’t sweat toxins,” you may ask. Yes, because the amount of toxins and waste that may leave your body through your sweat glands are so minimal that it wouldn’t make a difference how much you sweat. So if you want to be very black and white, yes, we do sweat out toxins. However, if you expect to detoxify your body of all pollutants with any form of exercise or spa treatment, good luck.
So what is the point of producing this salty aqueous solution that so many of us feel we can live without? Have you ever looked under your car after you’ve driven it with the A/C turned on? Notice the drip of liquid that comes from the middle of your undercarriage? Don’t worry you’re not losing transmission fluid. Your car was producing a byproduct, water, to keep you cool. You can probably guess where I’m going with this. Yes, you’re body is a big A/C system and when you’re hot and need to cool down, you also drip the same byproduct. Without sweating, you’re body overheats which can lead to heat strokes. Those who suffer from Anhidrosis, a condition where the body has the inability to sweat normally, are at risk of overheating.3 (Side note: I’m pretty sure all those people I spoke with and train who stated they don’t sweat don’t suffer from Anhidrosis) Therefore, when we exercise to an intensity that burns up a lot of calories, we must start to cool our body down, hence we sweat.
In conclusion, sweating, though not great as a detox method, is critical in keeping us alive by cooling us down. An added benefit for those who want to gage their workout intensity and make sure they’re exercising to the right intensity to see improvements; if you’re not sweating, pick up the pace. You should be perspiring when workout out or you’re not working hard enough. Once you begin to sweat, keep that intensity or burn more calories by notching it up a bit. Since we are losing water as we exercise, hydration is essential. Remember to drink water throughout the workout and rehydrate when you’re finished. One tip to know how much water to drink is to weigh yourself before exercising and then right after exercising. For every pound you lose, drink an additional 16oz to 20oz of water.4
What are you waiting for? Go sweat it out.