Sweating can seem like one those bodily functions we’d prefer not to discuss. Which is a shame because the process of sweating is highly meaningful to the body’s overall functioning. Like everything the body does, there’s a reason for it…actually, many reasons for it. Read on.
How Sweating Helps your Body
Flushes out dangerous microbes. One of the reasons we don’t get get sick as frequently in summer? We sweat it out, literally. Studies have proven that sweating decreases our risk of getting the flu by one third! Sweat contains antimicrobial proteins that bind with viruses and bacteria in the body, such as H. pylori, E. coli and HIV and usher it out.
Removes heavy metals. Other than cooling down, sweating also aids in detoxification. This claim is endlessly debated but one study found that those dealing with mercury toxicity returned to a normal or safer range after sweating sessions. Sweat has also been known to contain arsenic, lead and cadmium – none of which you want setting up shop in your body!
Helps body remove PCBs, BPA and other endocrine disruptors. By now, most of have heard of the dangers (and prevalence) of endocrine disruptors to our bodies, especially women. BPA, for example, is commonly found in plastic and can leech into our food or water, causing a multitude of physical maladies. Certain poisons and pollutants like PCBs (found in older building material) are only excreted through sweat, not urine. (Note: the addition of niacin with sweating can increase the dumping of stored toxins.)
Reduces menopausal symptoms. While many menopausal women are plagued by night sweats, this process actually aids in the reduction of estrogen dominance, a common phenomenon where endocrine disruptors increase levels of bad estrogen in the female body.
Lowers stress and increases happy hormones. Ever notice how you feel really good after a hot, sweaty workout? Sure, the cardio boosts your mood, but sweating also reduces stress hormones and helps rebalance our adrenal hormones.
Decreases risk of Alzheimer’s. Sweating encourages metal detox, relaxation, improves focus and increases blood flow to the brain – all beneficial in Alzheimer’s prevention.
So the next time you want to knock the often unseemly act of sweating, remember: our body knows what’s best. Sweating is part of a complex process that helps our body purge, heal and feel better. So go ahead – sweat the small stuff!